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The market resumed its double-digit growth after a temporary slowdown in caused by factors such as demonetization and a shortage of smartphone components. This contrasts with China, the world's largest smartphone market that saw its first decline this year, while the USA was relatively flat.
After the Q3 festive quarter, the smartphone category saw a sharp dip of 22 percent quarter-over-quarter QoQ in Q4 as vendors focused on clearing channel inventory.
China-based vendors further strengthened their positions in the smartphone category with the collective share of China-based vendors reaching 53 percent in from 34 percent a year ago. India is the world's third largest smartphone market, Samsung international expansion strategy also continues to hold its position of being the biggest feature phone market globally.
While feature phones remain relevant to a large consumer base in India, the Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio shipped huge shipments of 4G enabled feature phones taking the leadership postion on its maiden quarter in this category. This resulted in a total of million feature phone shipments in from million a year ago.
In Q4, vendors shipped a total of 56 million units in the Q4 making it the highest-ever shipments in a single quarter. The category registered a huge 67 percent year-over-year YoY growth and 33 percent growth from the previous quarter. The "Company" represents the current parent company or holding company for all brands owned and operated as subsidiary Company Highlights: The "Company" represents the current parent company or holding company for all brands owned and operated as subsidiary Xiaomi replaced Samsung for the leadership position in the Q4.
Xiaomi tripled its shipments year-over-year and sold more than 2 million units from its offline channel. In continuation of its offline expansion through Mi stores and preferred partners, Xiaomi appointed its first product endorser, and is now very aggressive in above the line marketing, which helped the brand to gain traction in the offline channel.
Samsung slipped to 2nd position in smartphone ranking in the last quarter of the year but leads in the overall year. Despite growing 13 percent year-over-year in Q4, it faced challenges in competing with the aggressive pricing strategy of Xiaomi in India.
However, the channel trust remains strong on brand and Samsung's distribution strength remains strong too, even as other vendors approach retailers and channel partners with lucrative offers.
To extend its omni channel experience, vivo launched its maiden experience center in India and also participated in Amazon and Flipkart's winter sales this quarter. Lenovo Including Motorola slipped to 4th position as its shipments declined sequentially and annually in the Q4.
Lenovo continues its efforts to strengthen its Motorola brand in India as Lenovo-branded shipments declined almost 60 percent while its Motorola portfolio saw a marginal increase compared to a year ago.
OPPO maintained its postion though its shipments dropped almost by half compared to its record-breaking quarter in Q3. OPPO made changes to its channel strategy as it started focusing more on selective outlets instead of having a presence across all outlets.
Also, as consumers experience and get hooked on to data, their need to be on a digital platform will go up and smartphones will be the first platform for many of them.
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