India's smartphone shipment crossed 100 million units last year, placing it in the second spot globally after China. India beat the US for the second spot. A large chunk of these 100 million smartphones were made by Chinese phone manufacturers.
On Monday, India even took a decision to ban the import of some of the Chinese phones citing security concerns. All the phones which don't have an IMEI number and certain other security features will not be allowed to be imported into India. Here is a list of all the licensed Chinese smartphone manufacturers selling in India.
The company was a joint venture between France's Alcatel-Laurent and Chinese TCL, but now TCL owns the majority of the shares. Alcatel is known for its mid-range series Idol and OneTouch phones. In August 2014, they launched 4 phones and a phablet in India. The company has produced a Firefox OS based phone and a smart watch too. Alcatel also sells tablets in India.
Coolpad is known for its sub-₹10000 phones in India. Last October, they made an entry in the Indian market by launching Coolpad Note 3 for ₹8999. In January, they launched a stripped-down version of the phone called Coolpad Note 3 lite selling it for ₹6999. So far, reviewers and consumers have liked the company's offerings.
Although a significant name in China, G'five is not a big phone brand. It offers under ₹10000 Android smartphones without any distinctive features. The company offers a couple of feature phones in India as well.
Gionee has earned a name by developing very thin and flashy mobiles. At one point, with a thickness of 5.5 mm, Gionee Elife S5 was the slimmest smartphone available. Since then, the company has come up with a range of mobiles in China and India. It now sells feature phones starting from ₹1000 to smartphones costing ₹35000
Haier has been present in India for a long time but as an appliances maker. Recently, they have ventured into the Indian market with phones. But instead of taking the plunge into the ever growing smartphone market, they are concentrating on selling feature phones. They do have some low-end smartphone but none of them have any standout features.
Huawei has been a leader in selling networking solutions in India. And, they have produced some good smartphones in recent years. Their sub-brand Honor has been received very well in India. Huawei sells smartphones of a different range under Ascend and Mate series as well. Notably, the company partnered with Google to manufacture Nexus 6P which has been lauded by critics and consumers alike.
This relatively unknown brand is almost nonexistent in India. They still sell one or two outdated phones on a few portals.
Before Lenovo jumped into the smartphone business, they sold millions of PCs and laptops in India. The company began selling Android phones in 2012. Lenovo's Vibe series and K3 Note series have been fairly popular in India in recent times. Their sales have been boosted by the fact that they acquired Motorola Mobility from Google whose Moto G and Moto E are quite popular in India.
A very popular company in China launched in India under the name LeEco. They initially launched two devices, LeEco 1S and LeEco Max. Recently they also released their new phones LeEco Le2, LeEco Max 2 and Le 2 Pro in China, and these will be launched in India on 3 May.
Meizu started selling smartphones in 2008 and it is one of the newer companies that have made remarkable progress in a short time. They offer 12 smartphones in India, with Meizu Pro 6 being their latest offer. The unique thing about Meizu is that the company is selling phones with Ubuntu smartphone OS as well.
OnePlus was an instant hit in India when it arrived in 2014. They launched their first phone OnePlus One on invite basis and received an enthusiastic response. A lot of people were attracted to high-end specs at a mid-range price. With the invites becoming hard to get, they have now done away with the system. In 2015, they launched two phones, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X, both available on the invite system initially and later in an open sale.
Oppo caught eyes of the world by launching Oppo N1 in September 2013 which had a rotating camera. Since then, they have launched plenty of phones and many of them have new camera features such as a beauty mode.
Qiku made the entrance in India with Qiku Q-Terra, priced at ₹22000. The phone has a good looking screen and dual 13 MP camera. It comes with a 360 OS, which is without an app drawer, gestures, and fingerprint sensor commands.
Vivo, unlike others, is relying on an offline model more than on online sales. They have more than 10000 partner stores in India. They also have one of the slimmest phones right now in the form of X5 Max which is 4.75 mm in thickness. The company is also sponsoring the Indian Premier League this year. They recently launched two new phones to mark the occasion.
Vsun is another phone maker which is not recognized much and has just one phone available in few of the portals.
Xiaomi rules the Indian market in popularity if we discount the Motorola factor of Lenovo. The products of the company are extremely sought after in India. From their Mi series to Note series and power banks to headphones everything is in demand in the country. But the biggest complaint from the customers is the flash sales strategy. Consumers have to log in at a certain time to get a chance of buying a phone. And a lot of the flash sales are over in a few seconds.
17. Zopo Mobile
Zopo sells 3 series of phone in India. Most notable of them is the speed series which has decacore processors. They are metal phones with high-end specs. The other two series are Flash series and color series.
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment is the fourth largest phone manufacturer in the world. Although in India it is not that popular. ZTE still offers a lot of phones in India including blade series which is their prominent offering. They also make tablets and feature phones.
19. ZUK Mobile
This is a sub-brand under Lenovo. Right now they only have one offering in Zuk Z1 which is a low-cost Android phone.
Chinese phones have created the cult of their own in the Indian market. There are plenty of reasons behind it including saturation in the Chinese market. In the last quarter of the last year, shipment from Chinese manufacturers rose 71 percent.
These phone makers are trying to set up manufacturing plants in India as well to participate in "Make In India" scheme of government. While companies like Xiaomi wants to open their exclusive stores in the country. It will be interesting to see how Indian smartphone makers would respond to this.