~40M sold in Q3, increasing. With > 400M Indians connected by obsolete phones, India has become the second largest smartphone market and is gaining share against China. With monthly prices often under $5 and phones subsidized to $25-35, Deloitte estimates 350M more Indians will be connected by 2020. Reliance Jio added over 100M customers on 4G smartphones in the last year; the remaining survivors, especially Bharti & Vodafone, are scrambling to catch up.
Google's new Oreo Go version of Android is bringing the cost of low-end 4G phones to about $30, with the first units expected from Indian manufacturer Micromax by the end of the month. The inexpensive phones will be a natural way to connect in the amazing 625,000 villages being fibered by BharatNet.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently predicted $30 smartphones will lead to market takeoff in countries like India. Oreo Go is designed to work with less than a gigabit of memory and deliver adequate performance using very cheap processor chips. Google has optimized their primary apps to run well on Oreo and hopes others will follow.
Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt predicts Xiaomi will overtake Samsung to be the best selling brand. His > 40M sales estimate is similar to the IDC estimate. U.S. sales were similar but the U.S. market is close to saturation.
The Chinese vendors, including Oppo & Vivo but not Huawei, have massively taken market share from Indian companies like Micromax and Karbonn the last few years. The Indians weren't ready when Jio drove the market to 4G phones, but now are looking for market share.
The Chinese have been moving production to India to beat 15% tariffs and find lower labor costs. Apple has talked a good game, but is holding out for enormous tariff and tax subsidies from India. The government is resisting; they believe India is an attractive enough market Apple will come in anyway, especially as India is raising tariffs as part of the "Made in India" program.
India overtakes US to become second largest smartphone market
Sales top 40 million units for first time; Xiaomi likely to overtake Samsung soon