Smartphone Market Report In Asia/Pacific In Q3 2014

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), India was the fastest growing market in Asia/Pacific with a quarter-on-quarter growth of 27% in Q3 2014 (July – September). The market observed exceptional growth owing to festive demand and recorded a new high in smartphone shipments in Q3 2014. As a result, the India smartphone market outshone other emerging markets in the Asia/Pacific region in terms of quarter-over-quarter growth.

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The overall mobile phone market stood at 72.5 million units in Q3 2014, which is a 15% quarter-on-quarter growth and a 9% year-on-year growth.

The Q3 results reveal the second consecutive quarter of more than 80% year-on-year shipment growth for smartphones, reflecting robust end-user demand for the category in the devices market in India. The share of smartphones in the overall mobile phone market stood at 32% in Q3 2014, which is a considerable increase over 19% in the same period a year ago.

According to the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 23.3 million smartphones in Q3 2014 compared to 12.8 million units in the same period of CY 2013.

"With 6% of the overall smartphone market, Phablets (which IDC defines as smartphones with a screen size of 5.5 inches - 6.99 inches) are observed to be hitting a plateau. Smartphones with screen sizes between 4.5 inches and 5.5 inches are seen as the sweet spot for consumer preference. However, consumers need larger screen sizes to enjoy media content and with the 4G rollout expected in CY2015, we expect the Phablets segment to pick up again,” said Kiran Kumar, Research Manager, Client Devices IDC India.

Samsung: With 24% market share Samsung continues to be the market leader in the Smartphone segment. Samsung has witnessed shipment growth in Q3 2014 but the growth is noted to be lower than the industry average. Hence, there is a contraction in their market share.

Micromax: Yet another strong quarter for Micromax. Micromax’s market share has increased from 18% in Q2 2014 to 20% in Q3 2014.

Lava: Being one of the fastest growing handset vendors, Lava has witnessed growth in both their brands i.e. ‘Lava’ and ‘Xolo’. Both the brands are currently treated as independent line of business in the marketplace.

Karbonn: Consistent growth has been observed in Karbonn smartphone shipments. More than 85% of their shipment volume is supported by handsets priced less than $100.

Motorola: Motorola’s fresh line up of second generation handsets fared well for the vendor, helping it cement its position amongst the top 5 vendors.

In the overall Mobile phone market, Q3 2014 was one of the quarters where feature phone shipments recorded double-digit quarter-on-quarter growth of 10%. However, the contribution of feature phone in Q3 2014 compared with the same period of CY2013 shows a decline of 9% as large numbers of users continue to migrate to smartphones.

Lava's feature phone business shaped up well in Q3 2014. Hence it was able to clinch the number 4 spot in the overall mobile phone business, surpassing Karbonn.

IDC India Forecast:

Shipment growth in Q3 was largely a result of festive demand. Also, IDC expects the trade to hold sufficient inventory leading to a lesser intake in Q4 2014. Based on these observations, the short term outlook of for market remains neutral.

IDC anticipates moderate sequential growth quarter-on-quarter in CY2015.

"With positive consumer sentiments and low levels of inflation, consumers will have more money to spend. The majority of the smartphone users change their phones within 12 to 24 months. With 44 million units shipped in CY2013 and the current market scenario hinting at 80 million plus shipments in CY2014, we have a big chunk of end-user market which is awaiting refresh. To add to this, new initiatives on the 4G front are expected to be rolled out by the vendors, which should spark up demand in the smartphone market in CY2015," said Karan Thakkar Senior Market Analyst at IDC India.

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