Analyst firm IDC (International Data Corporation) on Tuesday posted reports from its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker wherein it observed that India recorded total smartphone shipments of 124 million units in 2017, with an annual growth of 14 percent over last year. This double digit growth makes India the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, among the top 20 global competitors. China recorded a decline, while the US market remained flat. Samsung maintained the lead in both the smartphone and feature phone segments in India for 2017.
The IDC report also revealed that India is the world's third biggest smartphone market and largest feature phone market. As a matter of fact, 2017 saw an annual growth of 17 percent year-on-year in the feature phone segment, owing majorly to Reliance Industries' 4G feature phone Jio Phone and its competitors. In terms of absolute figures, IDC recorded 164 million feature phone shipments in 2017 compared to 140 million in 2016. Notably, Q4 2017 recorded 56 million shipments making it the best single quarter in history. Hence, the category saw a huge 67 percent year-on-year growth and a 33 percent quarter-on-quarter growth.
On a quarter-to-quarter (QoQ) basis, Q4 2017 saw a sharp 22 percent fall compared to the Q3 2017 festive quarter. Shipments in Q4 2017, however, grew by over 18 percent year on year. This was due to weak sales in Q4 2016 as a result of demonetisation of Indian currency notes.
While Samsung held the paramount position in smartphone and feature phone shipments for 2017, its performance in Q4 2017 was dismal as it got demoted to second position in both segments. Xiaomi took the lead with a 26.8 percent market share, compared to Samsung's 24.2 percent. Reliance Industries took the lead in the feature phone category with 24.1 percent market share, compared to Samsung's 14.5 percent. "Xiaomi tripled its shipments year-over-year and sold more than 2 million units from its offline channel," said the IDC report.
Commenting on the key trends of Q4 2017, Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India said, "Xiaomi taking a lead over Samsung in the smartphone market and Reliance Jio emerging as the leading feature phone company in India were the two key highlights of the last quarter of 2017. Joshi adds further "The growth of both the vendors was propelled by their aggressive pricing. Xiaomi's offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor's high shipments in the seasonally low quarter."