The data comes from IDC’s monthly city level smartphone tracker of the leading 30 cities in India. The IDC says that these 30 population centers made up over 50% of the entire smartphone market for Q4 2015. Which isn’t too surprising since India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world, behind China. In total, there are now some 220 million active smartphone users in India, more than in the USA.
Of those 30 cities, the top 5 (including New Delhi and Mumbai) account for 60% of the online smartphone sales in India, where also 4G coverage is better and hence 4G handset sales are larger. Global vendors like Samsung and Apple account for more than 40% of the market in top cities.
Although India is often seen as a lower-income country, Apple took the 6th slot overall and headed the premium price segment of $300 and above. At the high-end, Apple has an over 42% market share. Analysts say this is due to the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and subsequent price drops of its iPhone 5s and iPhone 6.
“Apple leads in top 30 cities in the premium segment, and in tier-2 and 3 cities, it has considerably narrowed the gap with the competition,” said Navkendar Singh, senior research manager at IDC India.
Although Xiaomi dropped from 6th to 7th place, the company has big plans to grow outside of its native China. Today Xiaomi launched an updated Redmi Note 3 in India, the new version ditches the MediaTek processor in favor of a more powerful Snapdragon 650, a hexa-core design with two ARM Cortex-A72 processor cores and four Cortex-A53 cores.
Apple and Samsung aren’t the only international vendors in the top 10. Lenovo (including Motorola) has the 3rd spot overall, with a 10.1% market share. The company has emerged as a leading value-for-money brand in India with phones like the K3 Note, Vibe P1M and Moto G. According to IDC, Chinese vendors like Lenovo, and Xiaomi are gaining market share in what are called the Tier 2 & 3 cities of India due to their superior positioning as quality brands, with a good value for money proposition.