The smartphone category is showing a growth of 15% to be shipped in India. This is equivalent to 130 million units which is almost half of the total sales of mobiles in India, as reported by CyberMedia research.
In the year 2016 the total number of mobile sales stood at 262 million units. Of the total 113 million units were smartphones. Rest 57% (149 million units) of the mobiles were simple feature phones.
The demonetisation effect could not proportionately hit the shipments in the Q4 of 2016. Since all the orders and supply chain are aligned for shipments. But the demonetisation turbulence has hit the mobile sales have been hit. Because of this there is certainly some inventory build up. In some categories of some mobile companies there is 25-30% inventory build-up. This is going to affect the Q1 2017 mobile shipments
The market is estimated to ship 270 million mobile phones in 2017, of which 130 million (48%) are forecast to be smartphones. The study report says it expects very strong competition in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. There has been a few launches in this year already in 10000 to 12000 range with 3GB and 4GB RAM configurations.
The brands like Lenovo, Xiomi, Vivo , Oppo have given tough competition to Samsung. But this year is going to be difficult for them. There is strong competition in the affordable smartphone category. This is the range where most of the Chinese phone brands have flooded the market with good specifications at various price points. The Indian youth is looking for such options either for upgrade or replace their old phones.
The ecommerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon India are also making efforts to have exclusive launches with these companies for grabbing their market share. There has also been a growing trend for 4G enabled mobiles around 5000 range. Customers are going to have problems of plenty this year for choosing the final option for sure.