Amidst global gloom, Indian smartphone market grew

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A growth of 1.5% is not something to crow about. But when you consider the situation that the world is in, it is something to be happy about.   

In which case the smartphone companies in India should feel contented as they witnessed a growth of 1.5% in the first quarter of 2020 with a total shipment of 32.5 million units.

What more, India seems to have bucked the global trend.

India is the only country among the top three markets to have witnessed a growth. As per a report by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), both China and the US saw a year-over-year decline of 20.3% and 16% respectively.

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“The online channel grew by 9.0% YoY in 1Q20 due to multiple new launches, attractive discounts, cashback offers, and affordability schemes registering a share of 43.1%. On the other hand, offline channel shipments declined by 3.5% YoY, owing to fewer consumer offers, fewer retail walk-ins, and a more aggressive portfolio available on e-Tailer platforms across leading brands,” according to Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

Among the individual companies, Xiaomi, with a market share of 31.2%, topped the overall mobile phone market in India with 10.1 million units shipments. The company saw a year-over-year growth of 3.4%. 

Vivo, with 6.8 million shipments, is in the second slot. It has a 21% market share and YoY growth of 63.3% in 1Q20.

The third place has been taken up by Samsung that shipped 5.1 million units. The company held 15.5% market share.

The fourth and fifth positions have been taken up by the BBK-owned brands — Realme and Oppo — with 13.1% and 10.6% market share respectively.

India remains price conscious

The report also looked into the price segments. And not surprisingly,  the sub-Rs 15,000 segment dominated the price-sensitive Indian market. It garnered a whopping 76.2% of the total smartphone market.

The share of the handsets in the Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 price band doubled to 18.2% year-over-year. The report said that this was mainly due to the Samsung Galaxy A51, Vivo S1 pro/S1, and Redmi Note 8 Pro. 

As for the mid-premium segment (approximately Rs 20,000-35,000), there was a decline of 33.8% year-over-year, leading to a 3.8% share at the end of Q1 2020. 

Among the phones priced over Rs 35,000 - they fall in the premium category - Apple led the way with a market share of 62.7%. Samsung and OnePlus were second and third respectively. In the ultra-premium market, iPhone 11 was a clear winner, accounting for 68% of shipments.

The report said the feature phone segment, which accounted for 41.2% of the overall mobile phone market in India, saw a YoY decline by 29.4% with shipments of 22.8 million units in 1Q20.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.