India is a lucrative market for smartphone manufacturers, which has attracted the biggest players in the biz to this part of the sub-continent. Chinese players have flocked in huge numbers to India in order to take advantage of the growing business, fame and profits. As a result, brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and others have witnessed record growth and almost eliminating the local competition out of the race.
According to the latest report by Counterpoint Research, Chinese brands' market share in India now stands at a whopping 66 percent during the first quarter of 2019. The sales volume of the Chinese smartphone makers alone grew 20 percent year-on-year in India.
"India's smartphone market continues to attract a lot of attention from Global and Chinese players. Data consumption is on the rise and users are upgrading their phones faster as compared to other regions. This has led to users spending more on their purchase which is driving up the overall average selling price (ASP) in the market. As a result of this, the premium specs are now diffusing faster into the mid-tier price brands. We estimate this trend to continue leading to a competitive mid-tier segment in coming quarters," Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint, said in a statement.
Keeping in mind the biggest selling points, Chinese OEMs deliver products that appeal to the masses. Xiaomi continued its dominance in the market despite a drop in the market share to 29 percent in Q1 2019 from 31 percent in the same quarter last year. Of the top five best-selling phones in the quarter, three belonged to Xiaomi. The Redmi 6A was the top seller, followed by Redmi Note 6 Pro and Redmi Y2.
Samsung's revamped strategies to better compete against Chinese rivals helped the Korean tech giant hold its ground. It acquired 23 percent market share in the first quarter this year, and two of its recent releases Galaxy M20 and Galaxy A50 were the fourth and fifth best sellers in the quarter. Samsung is also the only non-Chinese OEM to make it to the top five.
While Xiaomi and Samsung's dominance was quite expected, Vivo's growth was remarkable. The company ranked third, capturing 12 percent share in the market and shipment volumes jumped 119 percent. Aggressive marketing and expanding portfolio in the mid-tier segment drove Vivo's growth.
Interestingly, Realme, a new entrant made it to the list, with 7 percent market share in Q1 2019, while Oppo came in at fifth slot. Oppo witnessed 28 percent YoY growth, the report added.
As for Indian brands, 2019 is not off to a great start and their future looks bleak. "Indian brands reached their lowest ever share due to ongoing competition in the smartphone segment. Lack of refresh, strong competition and slow growth of the entry-level segment where they had strong share were some of the reason for their decline," Counterpoint noted.