Everything You Need To Know About India’s Smartphone Market

India’s population currently stands at around 1.3 billion people. That number alone puts them in the perfect position to be one of the most sought-after markets, regardless of what the product or service in question may be. Now known as being a huge target audience for technology products, India has reached new levels of smartphone use over the last year, leading the country to become the second largest smartphone market in the world. This growing segment of smartphone users is being heavily documented, especially this year, as there have been many changes that have caused this market to expand. These are the essential facts for getting to know India’s smartphone market.

Rate of growth

In a slow moving global smartphone market, with shipments growing only 3% last year, India is blazing forward with an 18% shipment growth. India’s smartphone market slowed in growth in November when the country moved to change currency to prevent counterfeiters and slow corruption. Because of shortages at ATMs and large notes being taken out of service, spending large amounts of money on a smartphone is not convenient for many, so it is expected that growth will continue to be slow during early 2017.

Device Types

With over 300 million phones shipped in 2016, there is a wide distribution of device types. Android phones are favored, but Apple had a huge win in 2016, shipping 2.5 million iPhones, a staggering number that was enough to put the device giant in 10th place in the country. Indian smartphone companies had a less impressive year. Their devices are still popular, but for the first time ever, the final top five brands featured no domestic companies. Instead, the top brands for the end of 2016 were Samsung and multiple Chinese brands. iPhones continue to rise in popularity, and the iPhone 7 is a favorite in the premium space. The best selling iPhone however, isn’t the most recent model, but older models (iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), sold  to give customers a wide range of prices to choose from. This is not surprising, given the fact that in India, 70% of phones used by the general population cost less than $150, and the iPhone 7 base model retails at $649.

Rise of Chinese Brands’ Popularity

There are over 65 smartphone brands that are used in India. In 2016,  Samsung remained the most popular brand used. With that being said, the saturation of the market with Chinese phones can’t be ignored. The end of the quarter showed total shipment numbers of 28.1 million phones from these four Chinese companies: Vivo, Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Oppo Electronics. Combined with other brands in the country, Chinese devices make up 51% of the Indian smartphone market.

For those that are trying to introduce products into India’s enormously saturated and competitive market remember that there is a huge market, and with that an untapped growth potential; meaning that many will try to navigate it and seek to establish themselves as the leader in a market that has a tremendous amount of sway over global statistics. Keeping watch on this smartphone market’s trends will be key to major growth in the technology field.



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