Indian smartphone makers have lost their significant share in the market in the past year, according to the data released by research firm IDC.
Home-grown companies have been losing market share to their Chinese rivals since 2013. At the end of March, the cumulative share of local smartphone makers was 13.5 per cent, 27 percentage points lower from 40.5 per cent a year ago. Shipments of smartphones by Indian vendors dipped 62 per cent, year-on-year, to 3.65 million from 9.52 million in March last year.
Micromax, the largest Indian smartphone vendor, has ended at seventh spot, with a 3.3 per cent market share. During January-March 2016, it held second spot with a 12.6 per cent market share. Lyf, eighth with a 2.7 per cent share, was fifth in the market a year ago. Lava managed to feature on the top 10 list, but Intex, the third largest brand last year, failed to make the list.
The cumulative market share of China-based vendors touched 51.4 per cent in March from 21.2 per cent a year ago, a jump of 143 per cent. Xiaomi and Lenovo cashed in on online sales, and Vivo and Oppo grew through retail stores. Only Lenovo was among the top five players last year. South Korean Samsung, too, has improved its market share to 28.1 per cent from 26.6 per cent last year.
Experts said local players could not meet the changing needs of the smartphone market. Now, growth is increasingly dependent on consumers who are upgrading their smartphones. As the average selling price of handsets went up, the significance of Indian vendors’ dominance over the entry-level segment waned. During the past year, the average price of smartphones rose 18.3 per cent to Rs 10,230 from Rs 8,650.
Superior hardware such as better cameras and larger screen sizes, too, played a role. During the quarter, almost half of the smartphones shipped were equipped with cameras with resolution of 13 megapixels or more.
About 62 per cent of smartphones shipped by Chinese vendors matched that. Nearly 90 per cent had screen sizes of 5 inches or bigger. These which now comprise 79 per cent of the market.
A wide range of 4G-enabled handsets has also aided the rise of Chinese players. Such handsets now comprise 94.5 per cent of all smartphones. “Home-grown vendors are making attempts to recapture lost ground with new launches in the sub-Rs 6,600 segment as well as in the mid-range segment. But competition from China-based vendors is expected to increase,” said Jaipal Singh, market analyst, client devices, IDC India. “Recovery of home-grown vendors is necessary for the Indian smartphone market to fuel the migration from feature phones to smartphones,” he added.