According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), 61.8 million mobiles were shipped in the second quarter of 2017, of which 54 percent were feature phones, witnessing 9 percent sequential growth.
"As the JioPhone launch looms, the prospects of feature phones as well as entry-level smartphone brands aligned to these markets pushed the shipments in wake of anticipated contraction of the market due to JioPhone availability in Q3 and beyond," the CMR report stated.
CMR announced that with several Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo and Itel showing growth in the range of 7-33 percent in smartphones, the focus is now all about competition among these brands to occupy the leading positions in the market.
"As smartphones complete their first decade in India, Samsung will continue to enjoy the market leadership, 6th time in a row," said Thomas George, Senior Vice President and Head, CMR.
Xiaomi was among the ace performers in the quarter, not only taking it to No. 2 in the smartphone market in India but also contributing to the revival of Rs. 4,000-Rs. 6,000 price segment that witnessed 55 percent growth sequentially.
"The entry-level market of smartphones will see some growth primarily due to attempts by various handset makers to counter the emergence of 4G feature phones. This should also see support of incumbent operators who are seeing revenues eroding at the hands of Jio's entry into the market," added Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecom and ESDM, CMR.
The price segment of Rs. 8,000-Rs. 10,000 should also see some upward trend as a lot of 3G owners would want to go for a 4G upgrade.
"At present, of estimated 350 million smartphone users, 150-160 million have a 4G smartphone opening up a huge opportunity for sub Rs. 10,000 price category 4G smartphones. This will be targeting late adopters as well as the technology leggards," Kawoosa added.
According to CMR, the market will be pretty flat for the year. However, there should be a replacement of certain volumes of feature phones as well as smartphones for 4G feature phones.
This could impact volume sales of feature phones in the range of 25-30 percent and for smartphones, the offset could be 5-6 percent for the calendar year, the report said.