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India edges past US as second largest smartphone market

Data from Counterpoint Research reveals that India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world, surpassing the USA for the first time.

Published onFebruary 3, 2016

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India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world, behind China, according to the latest data collected by Counterpoint Research. Smartphone shipments grew by a healthy 15 percent annually, pushing the nation just past the 100 million unit milestone for the year, up from 81.1 million sales in 2014.

In total, there are now some 220 million active smartphone users in India, nudging the country ahead of the USA for the first time.

Overall phone sales in India have declined over the past year, as more users ditch old features phones in favour of better connected smartphones. LTE capable handsets were a major force in the country last year, with shipments growing 15 percent year-on-year to 25.3 million units in the fourth quarter. This is partly due to the falling price of LTE smartphones in the country.

In India, Samsung is still the leading mobile brand, with 28.6 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q4 2015. Micromax follows in second place on 14.3 percent and Lenovo on 11.4 percent. Intex and Lava take up fourth and fifth positions, with a 9.6 and 6.8 percent share respectively. Other brands still account for a healthy 29.3 percent of the smartphone market, showing some strong diversity in the country and plenty of opportunities for smaller brands.

“The Indian smartphone demand grew strongly during the holiday season in the Q4 2015 quarter. However, the consumer demand waned since mid-November leading to smartphone shipments decline 11 percent sequentially,” – Pavel Naiya, Counterpoint Research Research Analyst

India still has a long way to go too, as currently less than 30 percent of the country’s population has hopped into the smartphone space so far. With China showing increasing signs of saturation, India will likely enjoy some increased competition from global brands as they attempt to stake out a share in one of the few remaining booming markets.

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