Even as the overall shipments of smartphones declined 8.2% during the January-March quarter from a quarter earlier to reach 23.5 million units, new entrant Reliance Jio has become the fifth largest smartphone company by shipments, helped by an increased offtake of 4G handsets, according to International Data Corp.
However, the smartphone shipments grew 5% during the three months through March, compared to a year earlier, IDC data showed.
Reliance Jio’s Lyf smartphones, which were launched during the October-December quarter, banking on the strong distribution network of Reliance Retail, have managed to overthrow Lava International as the fifth largest smartphone brand by shipments, IDC data showed.
“Jio has started building the VoLTE devices base by shipping its Lyf branded smartphones in the channels. Jio shipments are expected to grow in the coming quarters owing to launch of its service offerings,” IDC said.
Reliance’s Lyf smartphone shipments increased as there was a growing demand for 4G handsets during the quarter, aided by the vast distribution network put in place by Reliance Retail. During the quarter through March end, 4G-based smartphone shipments grew six times from a year earlier, to 15.4 million units, IDC said.
“4G based device shipments accounted for 65.5% of overall smartphone shipments in Q1 2016,” said Jaipal Singh, market analyst, client devices at IDC.
Among the other smartphone companies, Samsung Electronics led the market with a 26.6% market share helped by its low-cost J Series smartphones, despite a dip in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter shipments.
Home-grown Micromax Informatics ended the quarter with 12.6% share while shipments falling 17.9% for the second consecutive quarter, IDC said. Intex Technologies, another domestic manufacturer, saw its shipments decline 10% during the quarter, but managed to maintain its third position with 9.2% share and was closely followed by China’s Lenovo including Motorola which had a 8.2% share, IDC data showed.
Despite the decline in shipments during the January-March period, IDC analysts say that smartphpone shipments are expected to gain momentum in the coming quarters. “This year is expected to unfold many transitional phases in the mobile phone ecosystem as more vendors begin local assembling/manufacturing and an increasing trend for higher data consumption owing to affordable 4G devices and data plans”, says Navkendar Singh, senior research manager, IDC India. “While the new entrants continue to make the Indian mobile market more competitive, vendors differentiating themselves with value added services could be expected in this year,” he said.