Xiaomi Is India’s Largest Smartphone Brand, JioPhone Top Feature Phone

Counterpoint’s Tarun Pathak explains what’s selling in India’s mobile phone market..

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 is an affordable full-metal body phone. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 is an affordable full-metal body phone. (Photo: The Quint)

The pecking order in the world’s second-largest changed in the last three months of 2017: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi surpassed as the No. 1 smartphone seller and Mukesh Ambani’s JioPhone was the largest-selling feature phone.

That’s based on data compiled by research firms IDC and Counterpoint. Not only did Xiaomi grow 259 percent year-on-year but it also saw three of its models within the top five bestselling smartphone list of 2017, Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint, said. “Samsung had the most number of models in the top 10 selling list, leveraging its advantage of a strong presence across all the price bands.”

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4 were the top selling smartphones in India last year, followed by the Samsung Galaxy J2, according to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.

Tarun Pathak
Counterpoint Market Monitor Service

That’s not all. Jio’s feature phone launched in September last year grabbed the 26 percent share of the segment, become the largest feature phone seller. Pathak said Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. managed to capture such a large share in just one quarter because it offers a compelling value proposition when compared to a normal 2G feature phone.

“We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200-million-unit opportunity by volume, over the next five years as the hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets,” Pathak said. “While JioPhone saw healthy sell-in during 4Q (October-December), we believe the operator exited the quarter with some inventory, which could affect its share in coming quarters.”

India's overall mobile phone shipments grew 37 percent and smartphone shipments grew 12 percent, with feature phones sales rising 55 percent. Despite India's seasonal peak normally being pre-Diwali shipments in the third quarter, the market set a volume record in the fourth quarter.