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Indians Are Crazy About Chinese Smartphones, According To The Latest IDC Report

Lenovo at 2nd position and Xiaomi at 4th are leading the charge, with Micromax sliding to the 3rd place

16/11/2016 2:54 PM IST | Updated 16/11/2016 7:15 PM IST
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Albert Gea / Reuters

Lenovo's budget smartphones, along with subsidiary Motorola's G4 and E3, have propelled the company to the second place in the Q3 smartphone shipment charts in India. According to the latest report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), an American market research and advisory firm that specializes in consumer electronics among other sectors, Lenovo leads the onward march of Chinese smartphone makers in the Indian market, along with Xiaomi which has which made its entry into the list of top 5 smartphone sellers at the fourth position.

Samsung is still sitting pretty at the top with an enormous 23 percent market share, and a lead of 13.4 percent over the Lenovo group. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 fiasco didn't do the company much damage as the Samsung hadn't begun selling the ill-fated device in India before it was recalled. Samsung flagships, Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, are carrying the torch, along with sub-₹15,000 offerings such as J3,J7 (2016) and others. Lenovo's 9.6 percent market share has been fueled by sales of the K5 Vibe Note along with its subsidiary Motorola's reliable and popular phones, Moto G4 Plus, Moto G4 and Moto E3.

As reported by HuffPost India earlier, the fall in Indian smartphone makers' market share has continued with Micromax sales slipping by a whopping 32 percent as compared to the same quarter last year. The Gurgaon based company's 7.5 percent market share indicates that its Canvas series phones are still selling, though rapidly sliding in popularity. With the Chinese players beginning to do well in the lower end of the smartphone spectrum, things are getting tough for Micromax.

Xiaomi, which has been a hit with the urban Indian consumer, has ditched the flash-sale model of selling new phones and that seems to have served them well. It retains 7.4 percent of the market. Moreover, opening its own manufacturing plant in Hyderabad with Foxconn has certainly helped too.

Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

Xiaomi has also started selling phones on its own portal, mi.com, and started concentrating on offline distribution by partnering with Just Buy Live and Innocomm. The launch of Xiaomi Redmi 3S+, which is exclusively available for sale in offline outlets, shows that the company is serious about offline distribution.

Reliance Jio has maintained its fifth position, mostly because of the public launch of Jio's 4G services that have been bundled with LYF smartphones, including the LYF F1 smartphones with advanced network features.

Overall, the Indian smartphone market saw a healthy rise of 11 percent as compared to Q3 of 2015. For the first time in India, phone shipment has surpassed 30 million units.

The current trend suggests that decline of Indian smartphone makers will continue if they don't come up with some great models that are bundled with services. Right now, Reliance's LYF phones are the only ones doing this.

Chinese phones Oppo and Vivo meanwhile are gaining rapidly with their offline sales based model. Yesterday, Vivo launched a selfie-centered phone Vivo V5 with a 20 MP camera and the company has promised to double its manufacturing capacity within a year.

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