As per the latest IDC data, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo have all gained considerable share
The recent smartphone shipments data for the third quarter (Q3 2019) from IDC points to the emergence of a new pecking order. While Xiaomi remained at the top with 27.1% market share, Samsung’s share in the market has declined to 18.9% from 22.6% in Q3 2018.
However, others in the top five — Vivo, Realme and Oppo — have all gained considerable share.
Vivo’s share has risen from 10.5% in Q3 2018 to 15.2% in Q3 2019, Realme’s from 3.1% to 14.3% and Oppo’s from 6.7% to 11.8%. Owned by Chinese electronics major BBK Electronics, the three companies collectively command over 41% share in this market, much higher than Xiaomi.
All guns blazing
Although the three players started out operating in varied price segments with different retail strategies, lately they have been tapping both online and offline channels, and have established a presence across price segments.
Vivo, which claims to be present in 70,000 outlets in the country today, followed the offline approach initially. “Today, we are an omnichannel brand,” says Nipun Marya, director, brand strategy, Vivo India. “The Z-series and U-series from our product portfolio are online focussed, while the Y-series, S-series and V-series are offline centric. However, all these products are available across channels.”
Realme, too, has been amplifying its presence in physical stores after an initial online focus. The company plans to expand to 20,000 stores in 180 cities, from the current 11,000, by the end of this year.
Oppo and Vivo, which operated in the mid-tier segment (`10,000-20,000), are now launching phones across the spectrum. Oppo launched the Reno series earlier in the year in the premium range (above `20,000), while Vivo introduced the Y91i in the budget segment (below `10,000).
These smartphone manufacturers have also been bullish on the marketing front. Vivo, for instance, doubled its shipment in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 2018, after it became the official sponsor of the Indian Premier League. The brand roped in Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Sara Ali Khan as its brand ambassadors. Oppo, too, brought actors Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif aboard as endorsers this year, while Realme signed on actor Ayushmann Khurrana.
Furthermore, these companies have also increased their manufacturing capacities in India, in order to launch new products aggressively at the right price points and specifications.
Reign of Xiaomi
Experts say that Xiaomi, which has been ruling the Indian smartphone market for more than two years now, is a formidable competitor for Vivo, Realme and Oppo. Xiaomi claims that 99% of its phones are made locally in its seven manufacturing facilities in the country. The smartphone major is also building its offline presence across formats with 2,500 Mi stores, over 6,000 large-format stores and 75 Mi Home stores. Muralikrishnan B, COO, Xiaomi India, says, “Both online and offline platforms are equally important for us. Currently, our online to offline ratio is 60:40; however, we aim to bring it to 50:50 very soon.”
Product innovation and quick upgrades are Xiaomi’s forte, says Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint. “In October itself Xiaomi came up with three new products,” she says. Another challenge before the BBK trio will be to successfully transition into other price segments. “Realme, for example, recently forayed in the premium segment with the X2 Pro model, but there are brands with better value already present here,” she adds.