Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market as Realme, vivo, OnePlus and itel became the fastest growing brands in the third quarter of 2019, Counterpoint Research said, adding that the phone shipments defied the slowdown and reached record-high of 49 million units. According to the market research firm, the top five smartphone brands contributed about 87 per cent in the growth.
According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, ‘The India smartphone shipments reached highest ever despite economic slowdown with 10 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in Q3 2019. The growth was driven by new launches, discounts and various pre-Diwali sale channel fill by all the leading brands for the Diwali festive season.’
Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, said that given the maturity of smartphone users in terms of digital content consumption, commerce and communication, the smartphone has become central to people’s lives taking a priority in terms of their share of wallet.
‘The smartphone brands continue to expand their product portfolio with attractive advanced features -- from quad camera to full view display to fast-charging larger battery -- for the mainstream and the mass market. As a result, this holiday season, we estimate the demand for smartphones will supersede other categories despite uncertain economic climate,’ Chauhan noted.
Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research added that the smartphone shipments reached a record-level, now accounting for two in three mobile phones sold. ‘Chinese brands Xiaomi, vivo, Realme and OPPO reached a record sell-in levels. The growth and maturity of online channels from serving more zip codes than ever coupled with greater customer service, attractive promotions from discounts to cashback to EMI and exchange offers will be pivotal in driving smartphone sales during this festive season and also taking a large share from the offline channels,’ Jain said.
While the smartphone market registered double-digit growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of approx. 37 per cent YoY due to the slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. the firm said that the operator was focused on clearing the older JioPhone inventory ahead of Diwali season. Due to this, players such as itel, Lava and Karbonn registered positive annual growth despite the overall segment declined.
Xiaomi recorded in highest ever shipments with a 26 per cent share. Its shipments grew 7 per cent YoY driven by good performance of its models in the online segment. Redmi 7A, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7S were the best performing smartphones for the brand.
Samsung shipments declined by 4 per cent YoY, however, it showed 3 per cent growth quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) driven by its budget segment device Galaxy A2 Core and its upgraded A series and M series (A30s, M30s, A10s, A50s and M10s).
Vivo reached its highest ever share in the India smartphone market driven by good performance of its mid-segment series (vivo S1 and Y17) and increased focus towards the online segment with its recently launched devices U10, Z1X and Z1 Pro.
Realme also recorded its highest ever shipments and is the fastest growing brand registering a 6X growth as compared to last year when it entered the Indian market. Towards the end of the quarter, in September, Realme race to third largest brand with strong sell-in into the channels ahead of the festive season.
Oppo grew 12 per cent YoY, due to demand for its budget segment device A5s and steady performance of its F11 series.
itel grew 40 per cent YoY driven by strong offline expansion, focus on upgrading its affordable series with new features and localized marketing strategy. itel was the number one smartphone brand in less than Rs 5,000 retail price segment in offline channels.
OnePlus emerged as the number one premium smartphone brand with its shipments getting almost doubled as compared to last year driven by its newly launched device OnePlus 7T and discount offers on its OnePlus 7 series.
Apple made an entry into the top ten smartphone brands due to price cuts on XR model along with good channel demand of its newly-launched iPhone 11.