India surpasses US to become second largest market for smartphones

By Shrey Pacheco | Updated 3 Feb 2016
India surpasses US to become second largest market for smartphones
  • According to Counterpoint Research, smartphone shipments in India grew 15% annually in Q4 2015 and the total smartphone user base grew to 220 million by the end of the year

India has surpassed the US to become the second largest market for smartphones, after China. According to a report by Counterpoint research, smartphone shipments in India grew 15% annually in the fourth quarter of 2015, taking the user base to 220 million. In addition, the shipments grew by 23% during the whole year to cross the 100 million units mark.

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According to the report by Counterpoint Research, smartphones made up more than 40% of the phones that were shipped in India. In addition, more than one in two of the smartphones that were shipped were LTE enabled. It also showed that more than 50% of phones sold in the quarter were made in India and more than 20 mobile phone brands were assembling their phones in India. Additionally, It noted that almost one in three smartphones were sold via online channels during 2015.

It was expected that India would eventually overtake the US in smartphone market for some time, however, this has happened sooner than expected. Back in August, a report by IDC predicted that India would overtake the US as the second largest smartphone market by 2017 . 

The report by Counterpoint research also showed the market share of the various brands of mobiles that were sold in India. Samsung led the overall mobile phone market and the smartphone segment during the quarter with market shares of 23.6% and 28.6% respectively. It also led the LTE smartphone segment during the quarter. The J series of smartphones were the most successful for Samsung and three out of the top five smartphones sold during Q4 were from the J series. The Samsung Galaxy J2 was the best selling smartphone in India during the quarter. However, the company continues to lose its share in the sub $100 price segment 

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Micromax continued to hold the second spot in the overall mobile phone market and smartphone segment with a share of 13.7% and 14.3% respectively. However, it faced stiff competition in the $50-$100 price segment from other domestic brands like Intex and Lava who have “considerably closed the gap” with Micromax. Intex was third with a 13% and 10.4% share in the overall handset market for the quarter and entire year respectively. Lava maintained the fourth position in the overall handset market and a 7% share in the smartphone market in the fourth quarter.

The report also said that while Apple managed to cross the 2 million units mark in a calendar year, it only commands 2% volume shares of smartphones. However, the high price of its phones meant that it had the third highest revenue share in 2015. Microsoft on the other hand, lost its place in the top five brands in a quarter for the first time due to the sequential decline in the shipments of Lumia phones

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Shrey Pacheco
Writer, gamer, and hater of public transport.
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