As predicted, India has now surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world, with two brands accounting for nearly half of the total shipments.

Editor's Pick

India’s economic growth – notwithstanding the country’s political and social dilemmas – is an incredible tale. The demand for mid- and high-end smartphones has increased substantially over the past few years, and India’s goal to become an international technology hub has only been bolstered by large investments from various multibillion manufacturers. Today, India is celebrating yet another milestone: according to Canalys, the country’s smartphone market has officially surpassed that of the US to become the world’s second largest, right behind China. While India’s overtaking the US smartphone market was expected, there’s something interesting going on within:

Canalys

As you can see above, India’s smartphone market is still dominated by the same five companies that have been exerting strong presence since the beginning. In particular, Samsung and Xiaomi accounted for almost half of all smartphone shipments during Q3 of 2017; that is, they shipped more than 18.6 million devices in India alone! What’s even more fascinating is the speed of growth for some of these companies. Xiaomi saw increased shipments by a whopping 290 percent this past quarter compared to Q3 of 2016. Vivo saw a similar magnitude of year-over-year growth despite its much smaller market share.

Xiaomi saw increased shipments by a whopping 290 percent this past quarter compared to Q3 of 2016.

As Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi points out, “Xiaomi’s growth is a clear example of how a successful online brand can effectively enter the offline market while maintaining low overheads,” He adds, “But Xiaomi focuses on the low end. It struggles in the mid-range (devices priced between INR15,000 and INR20,000 [US$230 and US$310]), where Samsung, Oppo and Vivo are particularly strong. Nevertheless, we predict Xiaomi’s continued go-to-market innovations will allow it to overtake Samsung within a couple of quarters.”

With the country’s overall smartphone shipments increasing by 23 percent year on year this past quarter, India’s market is proving itself to be robust and stable.

Are you currently in India? Do you see a big difference in the number of smartphones around and what kind of smartphones people have compared to last year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Brian Reigh

Brian Reigh is a part-time contributor focused on Android-related news and features. He has always been passionate about tech, especially mobile.