Lenovo, Apple Fastest Growing Among India's Top 10 Smartphone Vendors: Canalys

Lenovo, Apple Fastest Growing Among India's Top 10 Smartphone Vendors: Canalys
  • Lenovo saw its shipments rise 63 percent year-on-year.
  • The Indian smartphone market grew 12 percent YoY in shipments.
  • Apple saw its shipments rise 56 percent year-on-year.
Canalys has published its Q1 2016 report for Indian smartphone shipments, and has found that Lenovo and Apple were the fastest growing vendors in the period.

As per Canalys, the Indian smartphone market grew 12 percent year-on-year in terms of shipments, with 24.4 million units shipped. While the top five vendors (Samsung, Micromax, Intex, Lenovo, and Lava) remained the same as Q1 2015, Lenovo experienced the largest growth - its shipments rose 63 percent year-on-year.

The report attributed Lenovo's massive growth to its "value-for-money handsets and offline channel strategy." The report added that Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and LG were the biggest losers in market in terms of shipments, unable to compete in a market that is trending towards low-cost handsets. Micromax on the other hand experienced a slight drop in market share from the year ago quarter to 16.7 percent.

As for Apple, the company was on the number 8 position in terms of shipments in Q1 2016, but experienced the second largest growth behind Lenovo amongst the top 10 smartphone vendors. It saw smartphone shipments increase by 56 percent when compared to Q1 2015.

According to Canalys, in the premium segment or for devices priced above $300 (Rs. 20,000), Samsung saw its market share deplete from 66 percent in Q1 2015 to 41 percent in Q1 2016, while Apple saw its market share grow from 11 percent to 29 percent in the same period. The iPhone 5s, thanks to its many price cuts over the year, became the most popular Apple device in the Indian market.

Canalys added that it expects to see more vendors getting financing to help boost overall affordability of their products, and ensure growth in the cost-conscious Indian market.

"Apple is outperforming the overall market in India, and still has great growth potential," said Canalys Mobility Analyst Wilmer Ang, adding, "Apple's growth run could be short-lived. The 5s' success in India has more to do with affordability of a premium brand than a preference for smaller phones, and the move to the more expensive SE will discourage budget buyers. Also, the recent government regulation curbing discounts on smartphones sold by online platforms will affect demand."

Ishan Dutt, Research Analyst at Canalys, described the overall scenario, "Over the past 18 months, India's smart phone market has been rocked by dramatic changes. The rise of online channels, the arrival of new international vendors (particularly from China), the move to LTE and the desire for higher-quality devices have all had a big impact. Indian companies have struggled as incoming vendors have been quicker to address these trends. Micromax, in particular, has been through tough times, with key executives leaving. Now the company is aiming to revamp its strategy to incorporate an ecosystem of services around payments and content."

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