India’s smartphone shipments expanded 23 per cent last year to more than 100 million units, but growth fell to 15 per cent in Q4, according to Counterpoint Research.
Consumer demand slowed in mid-November leading to an 11 per cent drop in smartphone shipments from the previous quarter, said Counterpoint analyst Pavel Naiya.
Smartphones accounted for more than 40 per cent of the mobile phones shipped last year, and half of smartphone shipments were 4G models.
Samsung was the smartphone market leader with a 25.7 per cent market share in 2015 (see chart below, click to enlarge), followed by Micromax with a 16.1 per cent share. But both saw their market shares decline by 1.8 and 2.5 points respectively.
Facing intense competition in the $50-$100 price segment from other local brands, Micromax’s Q4 shipments fell during the quarter, the research firm said.
Intex consolidated its number three position in the smartphone market, expanding its full year share to 10.2 per cent from 4.3 per cent in 2014. But Lenovo moved up to third in Q4 with an 11.4 per cent share, pushing Intex to fourth in the quarter with a 9.6 per cent share.
Lenovo increased its full year share to 8.6 per cent from 5.2 per cent, while Lava’s share rose to 6 per cent from 3.7 per cent in 2014.
With the country’s top operators racing to roll out 4G services and falling smartphone prices, Counterpoint expects uptake of LTE services to be much faster than the earlier 3G uptake, Naiya said.
The strong growth, coupled with a smartphone penetration (total population) of less than 30 per cent, continues to attract new smartphone brands, with more than 150 brands selling their devices in the country. Almost half of mobile phones sold during last quarter were “Made in India”, with more than 20 mobile phone brands now assembling phones in India.
Nearly one in three smartphones were sold through online channels last year.