Kashmiri youth use their mobile phones to take pictures during the funeral of Feroz Ahmad Malik in Palhalan, north of Srinagar September 6, 2010
[Representation Pic]Reuters File

With more than 220 million unique smartphone users, India has overtaken the US as the world's second-largest smartphone market, market analyst Counterpoint Research has said in its report released on Tuesday.

Smartphone vendors in India, for the first time, sold more than 100 million devices in 2015, witnessing a healthy 23% year-over-year growth.

Samsung leads the table with 25.7% market share, with Micromax a distant second (16.1%). New Delhi-based Intex Mobiles is third with 10.2% of the market share, followed by Lenovo & Motorola (8.6%) and Lava (6.0%).

Also read: Smartphone shipments to India increase by 21%: IDC report

The Counterpoint report also dished out interesting facts on Apple's progress in India. The Cupertino-based company, which commands a lowly 2% market share, was in 2015 able to ship a record 2 million devices in India. Thanks to the high pricing of its devices, it became the third-biggest revenue-generating smartphone-maker in India.

Also read: Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi register above-average year-over-year smartphone shipment growth in 2015: IDC

Apple is slated to announce its mid-range iPhone 5se next month, and if the company releases the device soon enough in India with an aggressive price tag, it may make further inroads in the subcontinent.

Also read: Apple iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 launch date leaked

International Business Times (India) reached out to Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Counterpoint Technology Market Research, with regard to Indian smartphone market predictions for 2016.

 This what Mr Pathak had to say- "We believe that India smartphone market is estimated to grow by 40% in 2016.Key factors driving the growth will be declining ASP of smartphones, LTE getting mainstream,faster replacement cycle of smartphones and shift of featurephone users to smartphones," 

"However if we look at the wider industry scenario beyond growth there are couple of interesting trends that are going to happen and have a significant impact on market dynamics. These include 1) Increasing Industry tieups/collaboration with tech startups as smartphone players strive to differentiate their products 2) The second hand smartphone market will undergo steep growth in 2016 3)Regulations in e-commerce Industry 4) Software will be the new battle ground as hardware innovation hits plateau 5) Small regional players will undergo slow and painful exit as profit margin declines 6)Government initiatives will be strategically planned around smartphones as a medium to reach out to masses. To sum up we believe that 2016 will be a quite eventful year in smartphone industry as India is at the cusp of digital innovation," Pathak added.

Other key takeaways from Counterpoint report are:

  • Samsung used its distribution prowess to gain a much-needed foothold in the $100-200 price segment, where it is facing stiff competition from local and Chinese brands. However, the company continues to lose market share in sub-$100 price segment.
  • The Micromax Yu brand crossed 2 million units of shipment in CY 2015, signifying a growing user base, as it plans to scale up the Yu ecosystem, deeply integrating O2O services such as "Around Yu".
  • Intex lost its number three spot in the smartphone market to Lenovo during the quarter, with a market share of 9.6%. However, it ended the year as the third-largest smartphone vendor with a market share of 10.4%, driven by growth in entry-level smartphones.
  • Microsoft lost its place among the top five brands in a quarter for the first time ever, as Lumia shipments declined sequentially and annually.
  • Chinese players OnePlus, Coolpad and Meizu, though not finding any place in the top smartphone-makers' list, grew significantly in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Counterpoint predicts that the year 2016 will witness more intense competition in the smartphone market with the arrival of LeEco (formerly known as LeTV) and aggressive marketing schemes of the well-established China-based Huawei and Vivo.

Also read: Indian smartphone market to see 37% growth in 2016

India's smartphone shipment details of CY 2015:

Rank Phone vendors Calendar Year 2015 market share
1 Samsung 25.7%
2 Micromax 16.1%
3 Intex 10.2%
4 Lenovo (+Motorola) 8.6%
5 Lava 6.0%
6 Others 33.4%
Total ------------ 100%

India's feature-phone and smartphone shipment details of CY 2015:

Rank Phone vendors CY 2015 market share
1 Samsung 19.8%
2 Micromax 13.5%
3 Intex 10.4%
4 Lava 9.7%
5 Microsoft (+Nokia) 7.1%
6 Others 39.5%
Total ------------------- 100%
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