India Smartphone Shipments Fall, GST To Blame

The latest figures released by a market research firm, Canalys suggest that the Indian smartphone market has contracted, especially in terms of numbers. This has further resulted in smartphone shipments of the country falling by 4 percent year-on-year, and the Indian smartphone market has never experienced such a bad hit before, claims Canalys. The research firm further goes on to state that this is a consequence of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented in the country on July 1st, 2017.

The Indian smartphone market is currently being led by Samsung with 25 percent market share in total. The firm’s recent launches that include the Galaxy J and the Galaxy S8 series seemed to have worked well in the company's favor. Samsung is followed by the Chinese tech-giant Xiaomi, with shipments of nearly 4.8 million smartphone units in Q2 of this year. Most of the credit for Xiaomi’s immense popularity undoubtedly goes to its low-range Redmi Note 4 and the Redmi 4A devices. Vivo surprisingly takes the third position with an all-time high shipping of 3.4 million smartphone units. The research firm suggests that Vivo majorly dominates tier-two and tier-three cities in India, and these companies are followed by OPPO and Lenovo who occupy the fourth and the fifth place, respectively.

The primary winners (Samsung and Xiaomi) of the smartphone market seem to represent a clear threat that the Chinese players pose against any other company, especially in India. Canalys states that since China is already suffering decline in its home market, India therefore plays a key role for the Chinese vendors to make maximum profit. Meanwhile, OPPO and Vivo have gradually emerged to be major dominants in the market, thanks to the visibly rigorous effort applied by both on online and offline retail campaigns. Unfortunately, Lenovo can be seen as struggling as far as the smartphone market is concerned. The firm is reportedly focusing most of the concentration towards its sister-company, Motorola. Canalys analyst, Rushabh Doshi, reportedly stated that there is much confusion among consumers since GST was implemented. Due to lack of awareness regarding GST, there is apprehension among the mass, including retailers and distributors as well. The research firm predicts that the market will emerge stronger after the GST-led confusion phases out.

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