Reliance's LYF series of smartphones has helped the company become one of the key smartphone players in the world's fastest growing market — India. According to data gathered by Counterpoint Research, Reliance LYF is now India's fifth largest smartphone company in the first quarter of this year.
The demand for 4G LTE smartphones in the Indian smartphone market helped LYF gain popularity despite tough competition. It should also be noted that Reliance Jio is yet to be launched in the country.
With a 7 percent share in India's smartphone market during Q1 2016, LYF ranked fifth, whereas Samsung retained the top rank in both mobile phone and smartphone shipments during the same period.
"In the first quarter of its inception, LYF instantly climbed to become one of the top five smartphone brands in India in terms of shipment volumes," Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint, said in a statement. "Jio with its massive LTE network and scale could be the key player to watch out for as it has already become the second largest LTE phone supplier during the quarter."
Demand for high-speed 4G in India is increasing as two of every three smartphones shipped in India in the first quarter were LTE-enabled. The research firm found LYF to be the second largest LTE smartphone supplier in India, outpacing key players such as Micromax and Lenovo during the quarter.
Samsung's acquired the highest market share of 29 percent, while domestic brands Micromax and Intex stood firm at second and third positions, respectively. Lenovo, which includes Motorola smartphone shipments, came in fourth, making it the only Chinese brand in the top five despite stiff competition from brands like Xiaomi, LeEco, Meizu and Huawei.
But the Chinese brands recorded a significant growth in the Indian smartphone market during the first quarter. According to Counterpoint data, 21 percent of the total smartphone shipments were commanded by Chinese brands. Vivo recorded the highest growth of 759 percent (YoY) in Q1 2016, Lenovo grew a 344 percent and Oppo saw a 183 percent spike.
Apple also saw a 62 percent annual growth in the first quarter in India, despite suffering a negative growth for its iPhone sales globally.
The total number of smartphones shipped from January to March stood at 55.3 million, which was a 45 percent of the total phones. The Indian smartphone market defied the global consensus and recorded a 23 percent hike in the first quarter. The global market for smartphones in Q1 2016 was flat for the first time ever.