Emerging brands gain market share in Indian smartphone segment

Emerging brands are gaining momentum rapidly in the burgeoning Indian smartphone market with one in every four smartphones sold in 2016 being from an emerging brand, said a report.

As per CMR's India Emerging Smartphone Brands Report 2016, 15.2 million smartphones shipped in 2015 were from emerging brands which is set to double this year at 32.5 million units, representing 25% of the market. CMR defines 'emerging' brands as those which were launched in India not before 2013.

"The emerging brands do not remain confined only up to giving competition to incumbents and offering a wide variety of options for prospective buyers to choose from. But these brands are also focusing on offering value for money products, so that buyers can get more and best of specifications at affordable price points," said Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst, telecoms, at CMR.

"Further, these brands have been trend setters like — Xiaomi introducing the concept of flash sales, OnePlus going by invitation mode only and Oppo boldly focusing on the camera feature and calling its phone as the camera phone," Kawoosa added.

In 2015, Xiaomi led the market, followed by Gionee and Panasonic with 23.6%, 14.7% and 11.3% market shares, respectively, within emerging brands. Micromax's Yu was the only existing Indian brand in the leadership ranks with Reliance's LYF as the latest entry.

Krishna Mukherjee, analyst telecoms at CMR, while highlighting the trends, said: "One of the important trends to witness is the decline in the number of new brands getting launched every year. As compared to 74 brands in 2013, there were only 21 new smartphone brands added in 2015. But at the same time, their contribution to the overall pie increased exponentially."

"We expect in 2016, there could be further decline in new brand additions in the country and there could be around 15 smartphone brands added this year, but this does not mean the India market turning unattractive for the smartphone industry. Rather, India will continue to attract all such brands that intend to go global and it would definitely remain the second-largest market for several brands after they successfully play in their home markets," Mukherjee concluded.

Smart moves

- Xiaomi, Gionee and Panasonic were the leading emerging Smartphone brands in 2015.

- From a mere 3% contribution in 2013, emerging brands contributed 16% to smartphone shipments.

- Micromax's Yu and Reliance's LYF only two Indian brands in top 10 emerging smartphone brands in 2015.

- 21 new smartphone brands launched in 2015 in India

- By the end of first quarter of 2016, seven new brands were launched by LeEco that helped it gain prominence.