International Data Corporation’s latest report suggests that the Indian smartphone market grew by 14-percent in 2017 with total shipments hitting 124 million units. Despite the rising adoption of smartphones, the country’s total feature phone shipments also grew to 164 million units in 2017, up from 140 million a year ago. Based on IDC’s report, India is the world's largest feature phone market but it stands behind China and the U.S. when smartphone shipments are concerned. The same report also observed that smartphone shipments in China actually fell for the first time in 2017 and their number remained stagnant in the U.S. Nevertheless, the Indian market is dominated by Chinese players that held 53-percent of it in 2017, up from 34-percent a year ago.
With a 24.7-percent share of the smartphone segment, Samsung topped India's smartphone market over the entire 2017 and was closely followed by Xiaomi with 20.9-percent of the market. For the last quarter of the calendar year, Xiaomi’s market share amounted to 26.8-percent, pushing Samsung down to the second spot, according to IDC’s report. In the same period, Samsung was also pushed to the second position in the feature phone category, having been overtaken by Reliance Industries, though it still came out on top over the course of the entire 2017, holding over a fifth of the market. IDC’s report adds that Xiaomi shipped two million units via offline channels alone and managed to triple its shipments year-over-year in the final quarter of 2017. Vivo, Lenovo (including Motorola), and OPPO experienced a slight dip in Q4 2017 but maintained their market positions as the third, fourth, and fifth largest phone vendors in the country.
Xiaomi entered the Indian market in 2014 and didn’t take long to establish itself as a major smartphone maker in the South Asian country. With the focus on sub-$200 handsets, the segment that has the most traction in India, Xiaomi managed to surpass Samsung in terms of shipments, according to some industry trackers. While the smartphone shipments in India are growing at a pace better than all other markets, feature phones still account for a major part of the mobile picture in the country. Domestic telecom operator Reliance Jio launched the 4G-enabled JioPhone last July, which helped it grab almost a quarter of the feature phone market. The company is also rumored to announce a low-cost Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone in the coming weeks.