India recorded 158 Mn shipments in 2019 with 7% YoY growth. Amid the slow growth, India has managed to surpass the USA in Q4 2019, thereby becoming the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
According to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor report, this growth is attributed to the mid-tier segment where Chinese brands are aggressively introducing many premium-grade, feature phones and capabilities to capture demand coming from users to upgrade to latest models.
The report further said that the online ecommerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon have helped these brands introduce products faster into the market.
Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, in a press statement, said that the emerging markets like India will fuel the demand to grow further due to the ongoing transition from feature phones to smartphones at an entry-level price. This is also creating huge competition among smartphone manufacturers in India, he added.
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Chinese Brands Driving Indian Smartphone Market
The report said that the Chinese brands share hit a record of 72% for 2019 compared to 60% in 2018. In 2019, Chinese brands including Xiaomi, Realme and OnePlus increased their offline points of sale, while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series, said Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint highlighting the growth of Chinese smartphone manufacturers in the country.
On the other hand, South Korea smartphone brand Samsung which was once leading the Indian smartphone market has witnessed a stagnant growth in sales. Vivo has surpassed Samsung to become the second-biggest smartphone manufacturer in India in Q4 2019. Xiaomi has been on the top of the leaderboard for the tenth consecutive quarter with over 27% of the market share.
The report also highlighted that Transsion Group-backed itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019 followed by Samsung and Lava.
The Counterpoint report further stated that the BBK-owned Vivo market share has risen by 132% between Q4 of 2018 and Q4 of 2019. In addition to this, Oppo claimed the fifth spot and Realme witnessed a massive YoY growth of 255% due to its low-cost Android smartphones, both in online and offline channels.
Last year, experts had said that Samsung could resurface as the leader alongside other smartphone manufacturers such as BBK-owned Oppo, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus among others, dethroning Xiaomi.
However, Xiaomi recently announced that it will be investing $7.18 Bn in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) over the next five years. This move by the company looks to capture the smartphone market alongside expanding to other avenues to boost its brand presence across the globe.