Chinese Brands dominated India’s Smartphone Market in Q4 2016


It appears Chinese brands have taken over the smartphone market in India.

New data from Canalys, a Singapore-based research firm, shows that during the most recent quarter, there were no Indian companies ranked among the top five smartphone sellers in India. Compared to last year, Indian handset makers including Micromax, Intex and Lava, which had come in second, third and fifth, did not make this years top five list of smartphone vendors in the country. Last year, they accounted for approximately 30% of the market.

According to the research firm, local vendors were hit hard by the Indian government’s decision to demonetize the INR500 and INR1,000 (US$7.30 and US$14.65) banknotes.

“Local brands’ target customers typically buy in cash and from independent retailers. With the short-term liquidity crunch caused by demonetization, these retailers are suffering a slowdown in consumer spending. Local vendors are losing out as retailers look to shift their stock to fast-moving, current devices,” said Canalys Analyst Rushabh Doshi.


Samsung lead the market with shipments of around 6.2 million units and a 22% share, in line with the previous quarter.  Xiaomi’s came in second reaching the 3.0-million-unit mark, growing by more than 230% year on year. Oppo was the best-performing vendor in the top five, shipping 2.6 million units, up from 150,000 a year ago, and a 150% increase from the previous quarter.

“Oppo’s intensive brand-building has paid off. In the past year, it has sponsored popular TV shows, T20 cricket and signed up local celebrities Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor to build popularity,” said Research Analyst Lucio Chen. “Beyond sponsorships, Oppo has also driven strong channel expansion activities, investing in channel marketing initiatives and securing vital shelf space with local mobile retailers. While this is a capital-intensive approach, the significance of building a brand in India cannot be underestimated.”

Lenovo finished fourth with just under 2.6 million units shipped, followed by Vivo, which shipped just over 2 million smart phones.

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