Canalys: India overtakes U.S. to become second largest smartphone market

Xiaomi is once again launching a 'new series' in India on November 2

This time out, a new report by Canalys has provided data that validates the former, with numbers showing India's rise to cementing its place as the second largest smartphone market in the world. Today, India is celebrating yet another milestone: according to Canalys, the country's smartphone market has officially surpassed that of the USA to become the world's second largest, right behind China.

Samsung and Xiaomi shipped 9.4 million and 9.2 million units respectively and accounted for nearly half of the total market.

If the latter continues at the same rate, it is expected to dethrone the former in a couple of quarters.

Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt said in a statement said, "This growth comes as a relief to the smartphone industry".

In a report published Thursday, Canalys analysts noted that China overtook the USA to become the biggest smartphone market in 2013, and now India is taking away the second place from it.

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Accounting a total shipment of 75%, top five smartphone providers - Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi Inc., Vivo Electronics Corp, Oppo Electronics Corp and Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology Ltd - still dominates the Indian market. Samsung is reported to receive almost 30 percent growth year-over-year, while Xiaomi increased shipments by 290 percent.

After a recent report that stated Xiaomi had shipped over 10 million phones in September, the company is celebrating having sold 4 million units.

With Quarter 3 shipments skyrocketing to over 40 million units, India has now surpassed the U.S. to become the second largest smartphone market in India. Samsung posted a relatively modest 30% increase in the number of units shipped compared to previous year. Despite this, Apple shipped a record 2.5 million iPhones to India in 2016, and the iPhone shipments doubled to 900,000 units in the third-quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. Doubts about India's market potential are clearly dispelled by this result.

There are almost 100 mobile device brands sold in India, with more vendors arriving every quarter. Xiaomi is focusing more on entry-level and mid-range handsets, with prices ranging from ₹15,000 to ₹20,000, which is one of the reasons why customers are opting for its devices. The Indian market is found to have quickly recovered after a wobble in the second quarter of this year. "As the infrastructure matures, consolidation in distribution is inevitable", Doshi added.

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