An attendee charges phone at a charging point on a Xiaomi Corp. Mi 5 smartphone in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India’s Smartphone Market Grows 7% To 32 Million Units In Q4, Says Report 

Smartphone shipment in India grew 7.1 percent to 32.1 million units in the March-ended quarter even as the global market saw shipment volume decline 6 percent year-on-year during the period, according to an IDC India report.

However, high channel inventory from the previous quarter resulted in fall in shipment volume by 8.4 percent on a sequential basis.

Xiaomi led the tally with 30.6 percent share in the March 2019 quarter, followed by Samsung (22.3 percent), Vivo (13 percent), Oppo (7.6 percent) and Realme (6 percent).

The feature phone segment, which still accounts for half of the total mobile phone shipments, registered shipment of 32.3 million units in the first quarter of 2019, falling a sharp 42.4 percent year-on-year.

"There was a sharp drop in 4G-enabled feature phones, declining by more than 50 percent year-on-year due to channel inventory from previous quarters. There was also a sequential dip in 2G or 2.5G feature phones," IDC said.

Interestingly, the average selling prices grew 3.3 percent year-on-year to $161 (about Rs 11,326).

"This can be attributed to the growth in the $300-500 segment, accounting for 6 percent of the overall smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019. This segment also outgrew all other price bands..." IDC said.

The premium segment ($500/Rs 35,000 and above) saw Samsung surpassing Apple for the leadership position with an overall share of 36 percent in March quarter, it said.

"In 2019, we should expect further aggressive offline expansion by the online-heavy vendors in an attempt to get a wider footprint in smaller cities and towns. Having said that, the influence of the online channels and their focus on the smartphone business will continue," IDC India Research Director for Client Devices and IPDS Navkendar Singh said.

He added that this will gain momentum in the all-important second half of the year since the affordability driving factors like EMIs or cashback offers continue to be top-of-mind attributes for consumers.

Online sales accounted for 40.2 percent of the market share in March 2019 quarter.

Also read: Samsung Targets Indian Millennials With Cheaper Smartphones