Not iPhone, Chinese smartphones sell most in India; Apple not even in top 5

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Published: August 26, 2019 1:27:21 PM

With every six out of ten mobile phones that are sold in the country coming from China, it is evident that something is working for the Chinese companies that the other manufacturers are yet to crack.

A total of 69.3 million mobile phones were shipped to India in Q2 2019, which was up 7.6% over the previous quarter, IDC said. (Representational Image)More than half of the Indian smartphone sales are dominated by Chinese retailers with Xiaomi as the market leader. (Representational Image)

More than half of the Indian smartphone sales are dominated by Chinese retailers with Xiaomi as the market leader. Out of the top five smartphones sellers in the country, four are Chinese firms — Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme — and Korean Samsung has about one-fourth of the market share. On the other hand, America’s iPhone, along with some other sellers, contributes to only 14% of smartphone sales, according to recent data by market intelligence firm IDC. India is one of the largest selling smartphone countries in the world and while other industries are reeling under the effect of slowdown, smartphones sales soared by 10% on-year, according to the IDC report. About 70 million mobile phones were shipped to the country during the April-June period alone.

With every six out of ten mobile phones that are sold in the country coming from China, it is evident that something is working for the Chinese companies that the other manufacturers are yet to crack. About 80% of the smartphone sales in India are for those mobile phones which are priced below Rs 14,000. Demand is led by consumers who want to upgrade their handsets and the “China-based brands are bringing innovations and flagship like design language at mid-price segments,” IDC said. 

Further, sales were also driven by online segment fueled by lucrative features such as new launches, attractive offers and affordability schemes like EMIs/cashback, said Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India. Affordability worked in favour of all five — Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and Realme. Take for example Samsung which registered a strong 16.6% on-year growth in the second quarter of 2019 with the newly launched Galaxy A series across low and mid-price segments. Vivo’s affordable model Y91 was also in the top 5 model lists nationally. Even in premium smartphones, the category was led by OnePlus with a whopping 63% market share. 

Going ahead, for the companies which play largely on the online platforms or are e-tailers themselves, the period up to festive season till October will witness aggressive sales due to new launches and price reductions of last few launches, according to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India. 

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