Samsung, Apple lead premium smartphone market in India: Counterpoint

NEW DELHI: Korean handset major Samsung retained its top position with 48% market share in the premium segment (Rs 30,000 and above), which grew a healthy 35% on an yearly, Counterpoint Research said on Friday. Apple closely followed Samsung with 43% market share. OnePlus, OPPO and Google made it to the top five in this segment, but each with marginal shares.
Mid end segment (Rs 15,000-Rs20,000 or $230-$310) witnessed the highest growth of 158% year-on-year during the quarter. Most of the growth was driven by Samsung, OPPO, vivo, Gionee, and Motorola, Counterpoint said.

LTE or 4G capable smartphones contributed 96% of total smartphone shipments in January-March quarter of 2017.”LTE is now a default feature for smartphones in India,” the agency said.

The Singapore-based market research agency said that voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) capability in some networks is helping to drive a new device category called 4G feature phones or smart feature phones. “These are providing a way for current feature phone users to take advantage of low/no cost voice calls over the 4G LTE networks,” it said.

Home-bred handset vendor Lava was the first to launch a 4G feature phone. Micromax, LYF, and other brands plan to launch 4G feature phone in the coming months.

During the quarter, eight out of ten smartphones shipped supported a 5-inch or bigger display. Counterpoint analysts said that users are enjoying content on bigger screens, while cut-throat competition between telecom operators is resulting in low cost 4G tariff plans.

The agency said that Qualcomm-embedded smartphones grew a healthy 64% year on year and growing its share in smartphone market during Q1 2017. It said that the increase in mid segment smartphone shipments drove this growth.
Almost four out of five mobile phones shipped were made in India during Q1 2017, the agency said.

Integration of high-quality (8 Megapixel and above) selfie-focused camera in smartphones is one of the fastest growing trend though merely a supply side push to drive the selfie trend, the agency said in a statement.

Sales of devices focus on selfies trend grew annually by a factor of nine in Q1 2017, mainly driven by Samsung, OPPO, vivo, Lenovo and Gionee.
Counterpoint analysts noted that domestic brands are now expanding to overseas markets for growth as they are losing their footing in the home market.

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