India’s mobile phone market saw shipments increase 11 percent last year, with smartphone shipments growing 10 percent.
According to market research firm Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, the research firm said India was the fastest growing smartphone market in 2018 with an annual growth rate of 10 percent. Counterpoint said in a press release announcing the results of the research that India is now the second largest smartphone market, with just China ahead of it. What’s more, the research firm said India has surpassed 430 million smartphone users but accounts for only 45 percent of the total addressable market for smartphones.
“India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets,” said Karn Chauhan, research analyst at Counterpoint Research. “This was one the key reasons for its growth in 2018, where not only new users shifted towards smartphones, but there was a healthy upgrade within price tiers, especially from entry-level smartphones to the mid-tier segment.”
As for the competitive landscape, Counterpoint said the marketplace underwent significant change in 2018, with some leading players gaining market share while smaller players left the smartphone market entirely. Realme was able to climb to among the top five smartphone makers after launching in the second quarter of last year. It now has more than 4 million users. It was able to grow faster than any other brand in India, noted Counterpoint. “Going forward, we expect brands to consolidate their positions by driving multi-channel and aggressive product strategies in a bid to target users beyond Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities,” said Anshika Jain, another research analyst at Counterpoint, in the report.
Last year also marked the first time that the feature-rich smartphone market had faster growth than the smartphone market. Counterpoint found India and the Middle East are leading in demand for phones that can do more than make calls and access the Internet. “India and the Middle East are driving the feature-rich phone market, capturing almost 3/4th of global feature phone sales in 2018. This highlights that while India is a fast-growing smartphone market, feature phones remain relevant for a large section of the population,” Counterpoint said in the report.