Canalys: India overtakes USA to become second largest smartphone market

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The landmark figure was reached in the third quarter of 2017, according to a report prepared by the Singapore-based technology market analyst Canalys.

As per Canalys' data, smartphone shipments in India crossed 40 million units in India in the third quarter of 2017, thereby registering a growth of 23 percent year-over-year. The Managing Director of Xiaomi India has stated that their goal is to become the number one smartphone manufacturer in India.

Recently, Xiaomi has sold 25 million smartphones in the Indian market in the last three years, with the Redmi Note 4 selling around five million units within six months of its launch.

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Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, "India continues to be an attractive destination for handset OEMs". The Chinese company focuses on the low-end devices since it struggles in the mid-range, Canalys points out.

In a report published Thursday, Canalys analysts noted that China overtook the United States to become the biggest smartphone market in 2013, and now India is taking away the second place from it.

The market continues to slowly concentrate among the top players as the top five vendors accounted for 75% of total shipments in India. Samsung shipped 9.4 million smartphones, almost 30 percent more than in the third quarter of 2016. China, however, is at 110 million shipments per quarter.

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Xiaomi has led the Chinese smartphone industry for a long time now, but with its competitors like Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and others growing stronger, Xiaomi may be looking at aggressively expanding its footprint in India. Apple has also been working on increasing its shipments in the country and its production in the country has doubled in the country in Q3 to 900,000 units.

Lenovo's shipments was almost on the same level as Oppo during Q3 2017. Xiaomi has been popular in the past for its "value for money offerings", however, the popularity is now transitioning into performance compared to a year ago. Doubts about India's market potential are clearly dispelled by this result.

After a rocky start to GST, the market has shown strong signs of stability in Q3, with most of the channel adapting to the new rules on time. "As the infrastructure matures, consolidation in distribution is inevitable", Doshi added.

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