Chinese Brands record 66% of Indian Smartphone Market in Q1 2019

Ruben Fields
April 29, 2019

The growth of Vivo, Oppo and Realme come at a time when the overall Indian smartphone industry saw a decline in the pace of growth, increasing only 4 percent YoY in terms of smartphone sales.

The company, quoting the latest IDC data, claimed its market share in smart TVs stand at 33.5 per cent, making the Chinese smartphone major the leading player in the segment in India, surpassing its Korean rivals. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, market research company IDC pegged Xiaomi's market share at 28.9%, with Samsung at 18.7%, then Vivo at 9.7%.

Xiaomi's India shipments declined by 2 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) as it had recorded 31 per cent market share in the same quarter last year.

As a result of this, the premium specifications are now diffusing faster into the mid-tier price brands. "However, it faced strong market competition as compared to a year ago", said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research.

"We thank the Indian consumer for continuing to instil faith and confidence in our products which has led to this phenomenal growth of more than 100 per cent", said Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India.

"The overall growth was slower than expected as some of the major brands were sitting on inventory after a stock build up during the festive period last quarter".

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Samsung is the only non-Chinese vendor in the top five and even with an annual growth of -1.8%, it has 24.4% of the market with 7.3 million shipments, and is the second largest smartphone OEM in India, according to Canalys.

Oppo, on the other hand, focused on expanding its portfolio in the less crowded ₹15,000 - ₹25,000 segment, research firm said in its report. The newly launched online-only M series started well too, but it will need a strong follow-up device to continue its momentum on the online platforms.

Following multiple price cuts during the year, Xiaomi's Redmi 6A retained its position as the bestselling smartphone in the quarter followed by Xiaomi Note 6 Pro, Redmi Y2, Samsung Galaxy M20, and Galaxy A50. The top 10 models contributed to 35% of overall smartphone shipments. Xiaomi is on an expansion spree by adding more number of offline stores - Mi Home, Mi Preferred Partners, Mi Stores.

On the performance of different brands, Jain highlighted, "Xiaomi remains the market leader driven by new product launches".

"Vivo's share reached its highest-ever level in India, driven by the V15 series launch and an aggressive marketing campaign around the same", said Counterpoint.

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