India recently became the second-largest smartphone market in the world after dethroning the US from the same position. In 2019, smartphone shipments in India jumped 7% on-year and the total shipments reached 158 million, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. India’s neighbour China is still the biggest smartphone market globally and a Chinese brand has beaten brands such as Samsung and iPhone to remain the most selling brand in India. “Xiaomi continues to capture the number one position for the second successive year,” the report said.
China’s smartphone play
Out of the five best selling phone brands in India, four are Chinese viz Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo. These four brands combined dominate over 60% of the smartphone market in India. “Chinese brands aggressively introduced many flagship-grade features and capabilities to capture demand coming from users looking to upgrade from their first or second smartphone,” the report said. The online channel also levered sales for smartphone companies. “The online channels became the preferred selling platforms to introduce these products faster into the market,” the report added.
About one in every four phones that sells in India belongs to Samsung with the South Korean brand’s India market share being 24%. Rest other brands constitute about 27% of the market share. “Chinese brands’ share hit a record 72% for 2019 compared to 60% a year ago. During 2019 we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share,” Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said..
However, the times have not been benign to the feature phone market and the sales of feature phones saw a sharp drop of around 42% on-year in 2019 and 38% on-year in 4Q19. The same has been due to a slowdown in new shipments from Reliance Jio. “However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual growth despite the overall segment decline,” the report said.