According to a report by CyberMedia Research, six out of seven smartphones sold in the country in the second quarter of 2019, during which the Indian smartphone market registered a growth of five per cent, belonged to the top five smartphone brands – Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo.
The sales were driven by new launches and discounts by online e-commerce retailers. According to CMR’s India Mobile Handset Market Review Report for Q2 2019, the Indian smartphone market is increasingly driven by affordable smartphones (Rs 7,000 – Rs 25,000), with smartphone brands focused on driving consumer upgrades from entry-level buyers to affordable and premium segment (> Rs 25,000) with new, interesting propositions.
‘As the smartphone market consolidates further with the top five brands, the potential market play for others has significantly decreased. To succeed in the Indian smartphone market, an India-centric approach and strong thrust on innovation and value proposition are essential,’ said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
During the quarter, Samsung was the smartphone market leader with its India-first strategy and a strong portfolio refresh, with Galaxy A and M series. Samsung was followed by Xiaomi. The China-based BBK group, the parent company of Oppo, Vivo, Realme, and OnePlus, also was alongside Xiaomi, capturing a combined 30% share.
‘Realme, the youngest brand in the Indian smartphone market, with its focus on technological innovations and market-leading specs, as well as aggressive market pricing, was the fastest to secure 8% market share, on the back of its strong showing by Realme 3 and Realme C2 smartphone models, surpassing OPPO on the leader board,’ added Anand Priya Singh, Analyst-IIG, CMR.
‘While Indian brands continue to accede market space to aggressive Chinese brands, they are looking at reinventing themselves as symbiotic partners to fuel offline growth of Chinese brands, on the back of their market know-how and channel strengths,’ Anand further added.
The feature phone market in India declined sharply by around 27 per cent year-on-year, owing to the decreased demand for JioPhone. Jio saw a 56 per cent annual drop in the shipments in comparison to Q2 2018. On the other hand, Samsung, Lava and itel registered positive growth during Q2 2019. Nokia had a year-on-year drop of 21 per cent in shipments. The top five feature phone brands contributed 78 per cent of the total shipments.
‘The second half of 2019 will see increased competition among smartphone brands. Smartphone brands, including Samsung and Realme, will likely build upon their market success and gain further grounds,’ said Prabhu.