Reliance Retail’s LYF poised to lead India’s handset market

With 27% market share, Reliance Retail’s mobile handset brand LYF topped India’s overall mobile handset leader board in January 2018, followed by Samsung at 12 per cent, and Itel at third with eight per cent, market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR) said on Monday.

Feature phone handset brand shipments had a market share of 72%, while smartphone shipments ended with 28 per cent, according to the CMR “India Monthly Mobile Handset Market Review Report for January 2018”.

On a year-over-year basis, feature phones saw a growth of 116%, the report said.

“LYF has continued its phenomenal growth from fourth quarter 2017, beginning the new year on a high. These results underline the importance and dominance of feature phones market segment in India,” said Prabhu Ram, Head – Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.

“If LYF is able to maintain its strong performance through the reminder of quarter, we believe LYF is on course to take the top honours in the first quarter of 2018. This will end Samsung’s continued reign as market leader in the overall mobile handset market,” Ram said.

In fourth quarter of 2017, the smartphone market recorded a 19% sequential decline while the feature phone market saw a 36 per cent sequential growth, and year-over-year growth of 62 per cent, the report said.

In January 2018, the smartphone leader board continued to be dominated by Xiaomi with 27% market share, while Samsung had a 25 per cent market share, with Lava at third with eight per cent market share, it added.

On the feature phone leader board for January, the top three brands were LYF (37.3%), Itel (11%) and Samsung (7%).

“For Samsung to continue maintaining its overall leadership, it would need to increase its shipments in the rest of the first quarter 2018 by at least 25-30%,” Ram said.

“Going forward, Samsung should ramp up its strategy around the growing and increasingly exciting entry-level smartphone segment. Key areas of consideration for Samsung’s strategy would include introduction of 4G feature phones, joining AndroidGo, as well as handset bundling with telcos,” Ram added.

“One interesting trend that has emerged is the decline of Oppo. In January 2017, Oppo was one of the top four smartphone brands in India with nine per cent market share. This January, it has moved out of the smartphone leaderboard, ending with a market share of only four per cent,” said Narinder Kumar, Analyst, CMR-Industry Intelligence Group.