Alongside the increasing numbers of internet users in India, another trend picking up steam in the country is that of the quality of internet connection as telecom operators are engaged in rolling out 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) connection in the country in bid to provide faster internet to its users. So far only Airtel has made the leap but among a host of a 25 manufacturers in the country, Samsung was leading the tally for Q2 of calendar year 2015 with 30 per cent share, according to a study by CyberMedia Research.
According to the study, a total of 5.7 million LTE enabled devices were shipped during Apr-Jun, 2015 out of which 97 per cent were smartphones. Samsung’s 30 per cent share was followed by Lenovo with 21.8 per cent and Xiaomi with 17.1 per cent contribution to the 4G device market in India from Apr-Jun.
Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst at CMR Telecoms Practice said, “As per earlier estimates, we expected that India would ship 5 million 4G smartphones a quarter by the fourth quarter of CY 2015. But, with the current trend of doubling of shipments every quarter, we can now realistically expect that number to be in the vicinity of 10 million; in that event total 4G device shipments in the country should cross 11 million units per quarter by the end of this calendar year.”
“This is mainly happening due to four factors – reputed brands launching their LTE devices, for instance, smartphone vendors like Asus; vendors going beyond online sales and venturing into ‘offline’ stores, such as Xiaomi; players adding more models to their existing 4G portfolio like OnePlus, and the recent full blown launch of 4G services by Airtel, which enables users to actually use their devices for such a feature”, Mr Faisal added.
The number of players in the industry spiked to 25 from 19 in the previous quarter and Asus emerged as the surprise entry. Barring Apple and OnePlus, most big brands reported an increase in the market share.
While brands like Intex, Karbonn, Asus and others entered the segment with new offerings, Micromax was struggling to make its presence felt in the market with it share dropping to 6 per cent from 10 per cent in the previous quarter. But Sony was seen enjoying its position with 5 per cent share on back of its new offering such as Xperia M4 and E4.
Vikrant Singh, Analyst at CMR Telecoms Practice said, “The best selling handsets in the 4G/LTE segment were the A6000 from Lenovo and Redmi2 from Xiaomi. This indicates that the India market is being propelled by shipments of devices in the INR 6000-10,000 price range.”
Despite the buzz around ‘Make in India’ initiative by the government, Indian brands only comprise 8 per cent of total 4G devices that were shipped in the country. Going forward, preference towards low-mid-ranged devices will lead the strengthening of Indian brands on their home turf.