India’s Smartphone User Base Tops 300 Million in Q4 2016: Counterpoint

India's Smartphone User Base Tops 300 Million in Q4 2016: Counterpoint

The smartphone user base in India – with Chinese brands dominating the market – crossed 300 million as shipments grew 18 percent annually in 2016 compared to the global smartphone market which grew only three percent, a new report said on Tuesday.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Chinese brands such as Vivo, Oppo, Lenovo and Xiaomi contributed 46 percent of the total smartphone market – up from 14 percent a year ago, the report by market research firm Counterpoint revealed.

Demonetisation had its impact on domestic players as for the first time no Indian brand figured among the top five smartphone rankings while under the same circumstances, Chinese players continued to expand their presence throughout India.

“Demonetisation has widened the usual seasonal decline from estimated 12 percent to 19 percent (Year-on-Year). However, carrying a smartphone has become a necessity and people will buy the devices anyway and we forecast further uptick in the smartphone market in 2017,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

According to the report, mobile phone shipments declined 10 percent year-on-year and 17 percent quarter-on-quarter.
The feature phone shipments grew four per cent year-on-year as the feature phone to smartphone transition slowed. More than 83 million smartphones in 2016 were “Made in India”.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, three out of four smartphones were manufactured domestically while more than seven out of 10 smartphones shipped in India were LTE (4G) capable.

Apple sold 2.5 million units in a calendar year, with a 1/3 of its total shipment coming alone from the record fourth quarter driven by seasonality and the launch of iPhone 7.

Apple captured 10th position in the smartphone rankings during fourth quarter of 2016 but led the premium segment (above $450) with 62 percent market share.

The month of November saw Chinese brand share reach an all-time high, accounting for 51 percent of the total smartphone market. Also, one in three smartphones sold during the quarter were through e-commerce channels, a segment which grew 24 percent in 2016.