Smartphone shipments in India increased 34 per cent year-on-year in Q2 to 25 million units, but overall handset shipments fell 2 per cent to 57 million units, according to Counterpoint Research.

Feature phone shipments dropped 19 per cent during the period from a year ago. Smartphones accounted for 45 per cent of total phone shipments.

The growth in the smartphone market was attributed to aggressive discounting and offers by vendors, retailers and e-commerce firms to clear inventory accumulated from previous quarters, said Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

Samsung led both the overall mobile phone market and the smartphone segment. Its smartphone share, however, fell to 24.5 per cent from 27.8 per cent in Q1, while its share of the overall market increased slightly from 18.2 per cent to 18.7 per cent. Its S6 series out-shipped the iPhone 6 series 2:1. Surprisingly, its Tizen-based Z1 was Samsung’s best-selling smartphone in India during the quarter, thanks to its lower price point, higher sales incentives and wider distribution, Counterpoint said.

Micromax gained market share during the quarter and maintained its second place position in both the overall mobile phone market (rising 2.2 points from Q1 to 14.4 per cent) and the smartphone segment (expanding from 15.3 per cent to 16.7 per cent).

Intex moved up to third place in in the overall handset market, despite its share falling from 8.7 per cent in Q1 to 8.5 per cent in Q2, as Microsoft’s share dropped from 9.8 per cent to 8.1 per cent. Intex was also number three in the smartphone segment (9.9 per cent).

Apple’s iPhone shipments remained strong during the quarter as it expanded its online and offline distribution channels by adding more partners. Shipments surpassed one million units in the first seven months of its fiscal year — an achievement that took almost 12 months in its last financial year.

India is also seeing a second wave of Chinese brands entering the market, with more than seven established new brands now available, including Coolpad’s Dazen, Meizu and ZTE’s Nubia, said Tina Lu, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

Almost 30 per cent of smartphones in Q2 were sold through e-commerce channels, with Flipkart accounting for 56 per cent of those “exclusively” sold through online channels.