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India becomes the 2nd largest smartphone market

India’s smartphone market grew 23% in Q1 2016, surpassing the US market in terms of users even as sales remained flat globally.

India smartphone market grew 23% in the first quarter of 2016, surpassing the US to become the second largest country in terms of users, even as sales remained flat globally, research firm Counterpoint said on Friday.

“India which surpassed the USA to become the second largest smartphone market in terms of users has continued to register strong demand for smartphone,” Counterpoint Research, Research Director Peter Richardson said.

There is a massive opportunity for every player in the mobile value chain when the second largest market by volume is still under-penetrated and growing while the rest of the world smartphone demand has waned, he added.

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“India is the next China…more than a billion smartphones will be sold in India over the next five years. This will drive the number of smartphone users from a quarter of a billion to more than half a billion in the same time period,” he said.

Furthermore, the advent of advanced 4G LTE network infrastructure will also be a key catalyst in the country’s smartphone adoption in coming years, it said.

Global smartphone shipments remained flat at 344 million units in January-March, impacted by weaker demand in China and Brazil as well as parts of Europe, as per Counterpoint.

It added that this is the first time since the launch of smartphones that the segment globally has seen no growth.

Samsung led the India smartphone tally with 29% share. Interestingly, Reliance Jio, which forayed into the market this quarter itself with brand ‘Lyf’, cornered 7% share.

“We estimate, this quarter strong shipment was more of channel filling, the actual sell-through will happen in Q2 2016 as the operator starts full-fledged marketing and promotional activity,” the report said.

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