The economic slowdown in the country has had no impact on the growth of smartphone shipments. In the third quarter of calendar year 2019 - July-September, smartphone shipments reached a high of 49 million units, posting a 10 percent year on year growth, says an analysis done by Counterpoint Research.
Driven by a flurry of new launches in the run up to the all-important festive season that began on the fag end of September, aggressive marketing and attractive promotions from discounts and cashbacks to no cost EMI on online channels and exchange offers, the love affair of smartphones with India has only intensified. Meanwhile, feature phone sales registered a steep decline of approximately 37 percent year-on-year during the quarter.
"The India smartphone market grew double digits reaching a record 49 million units in Q3 2019 offsetting the ongoing economic slowdown in other sectors. Given maturity of smartphone users in terms of digital content consumption, commerce and communication, the smartphone has become central to people's lives taking a priority in terms of their share of wallet," said Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research. "Further, the smartphone brands continue to expand their product portfolio with attractive advanced features from quad camera to full view display to fast-charging larger battery for the mainstream and the mass market. As a result, this holiday season, we estimate the demand for smartphones will supersede other categories despite uncertain economic climate."
Among smartphone brands, market leader Xiaomi recorded a 7 per cent year-on-year growth holding on to its leadership position in the quarter with a 26 percent share. Redmi 7A, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7S were its best performing phones.
Samsung registered a 4 percent decline in shipments year-on-year which also resulted in a 3 percentage point fall in its market share to 20 per cent but its sales grew 3 per cent over the second quarter driven by its budget segment device Galaxy A2 Core and its upgraded A series and M series (A30s, M30s, A10s, A50s and M10s). Samsung registered sequential as well as annual strong in the premium segment due to the introduction of Galaxy Note10 series in the third quarter.
Chinese brand Vivo registered its highest ever share at 17 per cent in the India smartphone market driven by good performance of its mid-segment series (Vivo S1 and Y17) and increased focus towards the online segment with its recently launched devices U10, Z1X and Z1 Pro. Oppo grew 12 per cent over last year, due to demand for its budget segment device A5s and steady performance of its F11 series.
The biggest mover was Realme which also recorded its highest ever shipments and was the fastest growing brand registering a 6X growth as compared to last year when it entered the Indian market. Compared to just 3 per cent share in the market in 2018, Realme had a share of 16 per cent this year, just behind Vivo.
"Chinese brands Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Oppo reached a record sell-in levels in Q3 2019," said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research. "The growth and maturity of online channels from serving more zip codes than ever coupled with greater customer service, attractive promotions from discounts to cashback to EMI and exchange offers will be pivotal in driving smartphone sales during this festive season and also taking a large share from the offline channels."