'Make in India' devices pushing smartphones sales: Report

New Delhi: While India shipped a total of 52.8 million handsets against 55.4 million in the first quarter this year - registering a decline of 4 percent (year-on-year), “Make in India' smartphones have come of age and are pushing the sales, a latest report said on Tuesday. The contribution of India brands was at an all-time high of 45 percent - up 7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 and “made in India” handsets contributed 67 percent to the sales, said the “India Mobile Handset Report for 1Q CY 2016” by the market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).  Interestingly, the contribution of Chinese and global brands declined in the same period. “We saw for the first time that price band of Rs.10,000-Rs.15,000 contributed the maximum (22 percent) towards the smartphone shipments. Usually, the prime contributor used to be the price bracket of Rs.6,000-Rs.8,000,” said Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst with CMR’s Telecom Practice. This increase has been primarily due to introduction of shipments by Chinese smartphone maker LeEco and launch of new handsets from Lenovo, Oppo, LG, Panasonic, Micromax, Intex, LYF (RJio) and Vivo in Rs.10,000-Rs.15,000 price bands.  “Some of the smartphones that have done exceptionally well in this price band include Lenovo’s K4 Note, LeEco’s Le 1s, Micromax’s Canvas Mega 4G, Huawei’s Honor 5X and Intex’s Aqua Freedom,” Faisal added. The average selling prices for smartphones is also going up. While in the fourth quarter of 2015, the average selling price for a smartphone was Rs.12,285, it was Rs.12,983 in the first quarter this year. The same was Rs.10,364 in the first quarter of 2015. “Among the handsets produced out of India, 66 percent of the smartphones and 60 percent of the 4G smartphones were manufactured in India itself. Now is the time to look at the premium segment where the contribution is negligible,” Faisal noted. While the global players are increasingly focusing on 4G LTE technology, domestic players could still see some profits in 3G technology, the report added.  Samsung, Micromax and Intex remain the “top three” players in the overall market in India. “In the second quarter, we are waiting to see how Micromax performs after tweaking its brand logo and creating a new approach towards marketing and sales strategy,” said Krishna Mukherjee, analyst, telecoms at CMR.