The India smartphone market had a modest 8 per cent growth for 2019, though the overall mobile phone market, which includes feature phones had a decline of 12.3 per cent, according to the latest numbers released by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
With 43.6 million units shipped, Xiaomi saw the highest shipments by any brand in a year, but other Chinese players like vivo, Oppo and realme grew much faster in the year, noted IDC. Samsung was the only brand among the top five, which continued to decline. Further, Xiaomi became the largest mobile phone brand (includes smartphone and feature phone) ahead of both Samsung and Reliance Industries with 16 per cent market share in the final quarter of 2019.
IDC predicts that India will see modest single digit growth in 2020 as well. “As organic growth becomes challenging with increasing replacement cycles, it is imperative for the smartphone ecosystem to really put its energy and focus on enabling migration of the massive feature phone user base in India,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India said in a press statement.
Here are the highlights from IDC’s report on the Indian smartphone market:
Top 5 Smartphone Vendors
Xiaomi remained on top for the fourth quarter and all of 2019. The growth for 2019 was 9.2 per cent year-on-year. For Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi 6A were the highest shipped devices nationally in 2019. It did well in the fourth quarter, thanks to the Redmi Note 8 and Redmi 8 series as well.
vivo was number two in the fourth quarter ahead of Samsung, though for all of 2019, it stood third in the rankings. The brand had massive 96.5 per cent year-on-year growth in the final quarter, and much of this took place because of emphasis on the offline channel.
Samsung was the only brand among top five to see shipments decline by double digits, both in the fourth quarter and for 2019 as a whole. IDC notes that the refreshed Galaxy As series was unable to sustain momentum owing to a delay in launch time, which hurt Samsung’s prospects. But the Galaxy M series performed well, especially the Galaxy M30s.
OPPO was number four in the quarter and the year. The brand saw success with its A series and Reno 2 series. Total shipments for Oppo stood at 4.8 million in the final quarter and it had double digit growth for all of 2019.
realme slipped to the fifth position in the quarter, but had a yearly growth of growth of 74.1 per cent. It was not too far behind Oppo in the quarter either with 4.7 million shipments. Its realme C2 was among the top five in the online channels. The Realme X2 Pro became the highest shipped device in the mid-premium US$300-500 segment in the fourth quarter, according to IDC.
Online grows, offline struggles
IDC pegs the number of smartphones shipped in India at 152.5 million units in 2019. However, the offline channel only grew by 1.6 per cent annual growth, while online continued to gain momentum.
“The online growth momentum continued through the year with a record share of 41.7% in 2019, growing by 18.4% YoY annually due to deep discounts, cashback offers, buyback/exchange schemes, and complete protection offers clubbed with attractive financing schemes,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said.
Under Rs 15,000 dominates
The smartphone ASP or average selling price stood at $163 in 2019 or Rs 11,000 plus. This was a marginal 2.8 per cent growth on the ASP. The Indian smartphone market is dominated by phones priced under $200 or Rs 15,000. This accounts for nearly 79 per cent of the market, said IDC.
The $200 to $500 (Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000) had the strongest growth of 55.2 per cent. It accounts for 19.3 per cent of the market.
The $300 to $500 segment (Rs 21,000 to Rs 35,000) saw vivo on top with 28 per cent share in 2019. vivo 15 Pro was the highest selling in this segment. OnePlus was number two in the segment with 20.2 per cent share, driven mostly by the OnePlus 7 model.
In the premium ($500+) segment, Apple was ahead of Samsung. It had 47.4 per cent market share in 2019. According to IDC, the reasons for this were aggressive price drop on previous generation models, bank offers, strong e-sales momentum and the iPhone 11 launch price being lower compared to the iPhone XR.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, shipments in the $200-300 (Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000) grew by 71.9 per cent. The reason for this was sales of the Galaxy M30s and vivo S1. In mid-premium ($300-500), OPPO was ahead of OnePlus in the fourth quarter. Apple dominated the fourth quarter in the premium ($500+) segment with a record 75.6 per cent market share.
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