Over 15.8 million 4G devices were shipped in the first quarter of 2016, with almost 97.9 per cent being smartphones, research firm CMR today said.
Data cards contributed 1.5 per cent while the remaining 0.6 per cent were tablet PCs, CMR said in a report.
“This amounts to 63 per cent of the cellular devices shipped through the quarter,” it added.
Interestingly, while Samsung led the market with 32 per cent share of the 4G devices market, new entrant Reliance Jio’s LYF garnered 12.6 per cent in January-March of 2016.
Lenovo’s stood at 13.4 per cent.
“The smartphone industry was the first to bank on the 4G wave. Now, as the services go live with multiple operators, it is the time for other devices to ride on the growth path,” CMR Lead Analyst Telecoms Faisal Kawoosa said.
He added that data cards have already started showing this trend as in the first quarter of 2016 itself, there was a 0.5 per cent increase in its contribution to the overall LTE devices compared to 1 per cent of 2015.
“We see this strengthening more as the year progresses. However, tablets are lagging and they need to ramp up at the earliest,” Faisal said.
In the mobile phone segment, Samsung, Lenovo and LYF were the category leaders with 32 per cent, 14 per cent and 13 per cent market share, respectively.
As for tablets, Samsung, Apple and iBall were the three leading brands with 58 per cent, 16 per cent and 12 per cent market share, respectively.
For the data card category, Huawei, ZTE and Micromax were the only three players shipping 4G devices in the first quarter of 2016. Their share stood at 40 per cent (Huawei), 31 per cent (ZTE) and 29 per cent (Micromax), respectively.
“While every emerging device brand in India prefers smartphones for obvious potential growth reasons, we see number of brands shipping tablets and data cards in decline. This is leading to the lesser option for consumers in tablets and data cards in particular,” CMR Analyst Telecoms Krishna Mukherjee said.
There is headroom for growth for other 4G devices as well and it is time for Indian brands to emerge strongly in these device categories too, Mukherjee added.