China brands drive India smartphone growth - Mobile World Live

China brands drive India smartphone growth

13 FEB 2019

India’s smartphone market recorded close to 20 per cent annual growth in the last quarter of 2018 as China-based vendors posted huge year-on-year increases in shipments, IDC data showed.

Smartphone shipments in Q4 increased 19.5 per cent year-on-year to 36.3 million units. Xiaomi topped the table during the quarter, with shipments up from 8.1 million units in Q4 2017 to 10.5 million and market share increasing from 26.8 per cent to 28.9 per cent.

Samsung maintained second position despite shipments declining from 7.3 million units to 6.8 million and market share dropping from 24.2 per cent in Q4 2017 to 18.7 per cent. Also holding station was third-placed Vivo, which shipped 3.5 million units in Q4 2018 compared with 2 million in the 2017 quarter for a market share of 9.7 per cent.

Start-up Chinese vendor Realme, which commenced operations in May 2018, leapt into the top five with shipments of 2.7 million units during the recent quarter, narrowly ahead of Oppo, which shipped 2.6 million units compared with 1.5 million in Q4 2017.

Full year shipments rose 14.5 per cent to 142.3 million units. The overall smartphone ASP remained flat at $158, with shipments of models in the $100 to $200 price range accounting for more than half of the market, IDC said.

Upasana Joshi, associate research manager at IDC India, said the premium segment (above $500) outgrew all other price segments with 43.9 per cent year-on-year growth, but accounted for just 3 per cent of the overall market.

Online growth
Joshi noted the share of online sales channels hit an all-time high of 38.4 per cent during 2018, stating the rise was “primarily driven by several rounds of discounts by e-tailers driving affordability through various financing options, cashback offers and buyback schemes”.

Offline channels experienced modest growth of 6.7 per cent, which IDC attributed to an inability to match the deep discounts offered by online players.

However, Joshi said offline “remains the largest channel for mobile phone distribution in India and is crucial for the long-term success for any brand in India”.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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