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Curb your enthusiasm, 'India's smartphones are changing the world' fans

First 30-million smartmobe quarter ever just happened, but feature phones still sell more

By Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016

India has just recorded its first-ever 30-million-smartphones-shipped quarter, according to abacus-shuffling firm IDC.

Don't get too excited about that representing a breakthrough and serious momentum towards a wired India, because the firm says “channel preparation for the festive season, mega online sales and early import of smartphones owing to Chinese holidays in October” were to blame for the 11 per cent year on year surge recorded in 2016's third calendar quarter.

Normal business, once resumed, will probably be below thirty million a quarter. And it is unclear how many of last quarter's 32 million phones shipped represent net new smartphone users, rather than upgrades for folks who can already afford a smartphone and connection to a suitable network.

Some more perspective: 72.3m mobile phones of all sort were shipped into India in the quarter, so feature phones still dominate.

Let's also remember that global smartphone sales are over 340 million a quarter. India has about 18 per cent per cent of the world's population and is buying less than ten per cent of its smartphones.

Clearly India's connected revolution has a long way to go before being live-streamed from a smartphone.

There's a big bright spot in the data for Lenovo, which between its own brand and Motorola's has 9.6 per cent of the market, still behind Samsung's 23 points. India's Reliance Jio has seven percent share with its made-in-India handsets.

“Others” are the big force in India, with 45.5 per cent of the market. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing