The latest report from Strategy Analytics has revealed that 97% of smartphones in India ran the Android operating system in Q2 2016, up from 90% in Q2 2015, while iPhone sales in the country fell by a whopping 35% from 1.2 million in Q2 2015 to just 800,000 in Q2 2016. That leaves Apple with a share of just 2.4% (down from 4.5%) of the Indian market. The overall market has also grown by 19%, making India the the world’s third largest smartphone market, after China and the US.
Apple’s premium pricing strategy and lack of network carrier subsidized plans in the country make the latest iPhones a little too expensive for the average Indian consumer. Apple had attempted to counter this by trying to bring refurbished iPhones to India, though the move was blocked by local manufacturers and environmental agencies. Apple’s bet on the Indian audience warming up to its 4-inch iPhone SE also failed to pay off, and even its corporate leasing program, starting at a monthly fee of Rs 999, couldn’t find many takers.
While Android’s domination in India, where consumers are always on the lookout for high quality but affordable smartphones, makes sense, it’s not all good news for the major players in the Android game either. Samsung, while still owning the majority of the market, saw their market share fall from 29% to 25.6%, with Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, Lenovo, OPPO, Vivo, Huawei, and Gionee, and even new arrival Le Eco, nipping at their heels.
Chinese smartphone manufacturers first entered the market with the aim to disrupt the domination of Indian OEMs like Micromax, but they now have their sights set on bigger fish, and continue to introduce smartphones with flagship specifications and features, at a fraction of the price, when compared to the Samsungs and HTCs in the country. Not surprisingly, the share of Chinese smartphone brands in total, increased from 21% in the last quarter to 27% in Q1 this year.
Do you think Apple will be able to regain its share in the Indian market? Can Samsung survive the Chinese onslaught in India? Hit the comments below to let us know!