India has overtaken the U.S. to become the second largest smartphone market in the world.
According to Counterpoint Research, smartphone shipments in India grew by 15 percent during Q4 2015. The overall smartphone shipment in 2015 grew by 23 percent year-over-year.
Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research, says the smartphone user base in India grew to 220 million by the end of 2015, surpassing the U.S. for the first time ever.
"This speaks volumes for the scale India market provides for any player in the mobile connected ecosystem. India still has a long way to go as the smartphone penetration of the total potential population is still below 30 percent," says Pathak.
Samsung dominated the Indian smartphone market in 2015 with a share of 25.7 percent. Indian handset makers Micromax and Intex are at the second and third positions with market shares of 16.1 percent and 10.4 percent. Lenovo and Lava occupied the fourth and the fifth spots.
Although Samsung has the biggest market share of the Indian smartphone market, almost half of mobile phones sold in India during Q4 2015 were "Made in India." More than 20 mobile phone companies are assembling their handsets in India.
iPhones have been very popular in India, but the high launch price of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus deterred many users. Low sales of the latest iPhones in India also resulted in Apple slashing prices of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus about a month after its official launch in the country.
However, Apple still managed to sell more than 2 million smartphones, including previous generation iPhones during 2015 for the first time in India.
Counterpoint Research also highlighted that more than 40 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q4 2015 in India were smartphones. It's also interesting to note that one in every three smartphones sold in India were from online channels.
In December, the International Data Corporation had suggested that the total global smartphone shipment in 2015 would be 1.43 billion units. Later in August, the IDC forecasted that global growth of smartphones in 2015 would be in single digit, but growth in India would be in two digits.
"IDC expects India to maintain a double-digit growth rate in the smartphone market over the next few years as people switch to smartphones and gradually upgrade to 4G smartphones as well," said IDC.
The IDC had predicted that India will overtake the U.S. as the second largest smartphone market globally by 2017, but it has happened about a year earlier.