Smartphone shipments in India grew 10% last year
Although the global smartphone market has been shrinking for some time, smartphones shipments have stayed robust in India and Indonesia. According to Canalys, global shipments fell 4.8% YoY (year-over-year) last year, and 6.3% YoY in the fourth quarter. In India, one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets and the second-most populous country, smartphone shipments grew 9.9% YoY last year, according to Canalys. A total of 137.2 million smartphones were sold there.
Xiaomi (XIACF) has continued to see phenomenal growth in India, where its value-for-money products have taken off. The Chinese handset maker sold 41 million smartphones in India last year, representing 59.6% growth YoY.
It surpassed Samsung (SSNLF), which held the lead in India in 2017. The South Korean electronics giant’s sales also grew robustly last year in India, by 20.4% to 35.4 million smartphones.
The Indian smartphone market’s headwinds this year
India’s top five smartphone vendors consolidated their position last year, as the graph above shows. According to Canalys, smartphone shipments in India grew 14% YoY to 34.1 million units in last year’s fourth quarter. The research company warned that Indian e-commerce rules, which no longer allow Amazon and Flipkart to have exclusive deals with vendors, could dampen sales this year. Canalys also noted that the new tax policy, which raised the income tax ceiling from 250,000 Indian rupees to 500,000 rupees, could slightly improve disposable income.
Apple (AAPL) has identified that it needs to grow in India, where it has a small market share. To that end, it is vying to assemble iPhones in the country to circumvent the hefty luxury tax that increases iPhone prices there.