Driven by strong shipments ahead of the festive season, Indian smartphone shipments grew 24 per cent sequentially and five per cent year-on-year, said a latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.
The smartphone segment contributed to half of the total handset market during Q3 2018 and top five brands including Xiaomi, Vivo, Samung, Oppo (excluding Realme) and Micromax captured 77 per cent share of the total smartphone market during the quarter.
“Even though the quarter started modestly, smartphone shipments picked-up and reached an all-time record due to strong sell-in by brands in August and September. Key brands kicked-off their festive campaigns early this year by launching new models as early as August. This has given them ample time to prepare and align with festive season sales across online channels that started from early October,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research.
Xiaomi recorded its highest ever shipments in India in a single quarter driven by the new Redmi 6 series and expansion in offline channels. The company also launched a new sub brand, Pocophone, during the quarter in a bid to target the growing mid to high tier segment.
Samsung record shipments were driven by J series. Apart from this it also launched the Android Go edition, Galaxy J2 core, giving it a much-needed offering in the sub $100 segment.
Vivo shipments reached their highest ever as it refreshed its V series with the launch of the V11 and V11 Pro. The V11 series started well as Vivo focused on key features like in-display fingerprint sensors, fast charging and improved camera capabilities.
Micromax was back among the top five brands for the first in two years. The company along with Reliance Jio, has won an order from the Chhattisgarh government under which it will be the sole supplier of five million smartphones to be distributed to the women and students in the state. However, shipments are likely to decline following completion of the order.
Transsion Group, led by the itel, Tecno, Infinix brands continues to grow in the smartphone segment in India. Infinix grew 65 per cent year-on-year as it expanded its product portfolio in online channels to take ground in the sub-$150 segment.
Realme became the first ever smartphone brand to hit one million shipments within five months of launch across online channels. Realme 2 was the most popular model as users found the build quality (diamond design) and features (battery life) of the device attractive enough to drive upgrades in the sub-$150 segment.
OnePlus 6 shipments in premium segment remained strong as it launched multiple offers during the quarter. This helped the brand to retain its number one spot in premium smartphone market.
Nokia HMD refreshed its portfolio with the launch of 6.1 and 5.1 Plus, both of which started well. Nokia pivoted to a new design language for the launches, which was received positively by its target audience.
“The record shipments happened at a time when the Indian Rupee has hit a record low against the US Dollar. This is already impacting supply chains and product planning for the brands. Any inventory accumulation after the festive season will put brands under pressure as they may need to pass on the resulting price rises to consumers. Hence, this festive season is not only crucial for brands to target new customers but also navigate the external headwinds,” added Jain.