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One in 10 of the world’s smartphones are sold in India

Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
A smartphone-obsessed nation.
  • Sushma U N
By Sushma U N


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Smartphone shipments in India have hit a new high.

Between July and September this year, 39 million smartphones were sold in the country, 21% more than during the same period last year, according to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

That means that India now accounts for 10% of global smartphone sales.

Thanks to the growth in the segment, overall mobile phone sales rose 30% during the July-September quarter. In all, over 80 million units were shipped during the quarter, IDC said in a Nov. 14 report.

The sales spurt came primarily from online retailers who shipped 13 million handsets during the quarter, 35% more than in the previous year, according to IDC. Online sales now make up 37% of the overall smartphone sales, up from 32% last year, driven by Chinese firm Xiaomi which accounts for nearly 50% of online sales.

“(The) online channel in India sees a seasonal spike peaking in Q3 on the back of multiple rounds of online sales following up to (the) festival months in India. However, it is gradually becoming an integral part of the omnichannel strategy for almost all vendors with online exclusive model launches and partnerships with e-tailers during these sales,” Jaipal Singh, a senior analyst with IDC India, said in the report. “On the back of fresh infusion of funds and focus on (the) India market, the e-tailers are expected to remain aggressive in 2018 as well.”

The winning brands

During the quarter, Xiaomi closed the gap on market leader Samsung and the two brands together now control nearly 50% of India’s smartphone market.

“In the coming few quarters, both Samsung and Xiaomi would need to further strengthen their channel play and significantly differentiate their products on technology and quality to sustain and fight for leadership in this hyper-competitive smartphone market,” Upasana Joshi, a senior analyst with IDC India, said.

Meanwhile, other Chinese firms such as Lenovo (which also makes the Motorola-branded phones), Oppo, and Vivo also saw sales rise compared to last year. The top five vendors now have a 72% share in the Indian smartphone market, IDC said, compared to 50% a year ago.

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