Smartphone shipments grew by 10 percent in India during the third quarter of 2019, driven by new product launches and special discounts, research firm Counterpoint said in a report on Thursday.
At a time when India is evaluating whether to allow Huawei to participate in its upcoming 5G trials amid ongoing US-China trade tensions, Chinese handset makers Xiaomi, vivo, OnePlus and RealMe emerged as the fastest growing smartphone brands in the country.
Xiaomi had a 26 percent share of the market, while South Korea's Samsung came second with 20 percent.
OnePlus remains the main premium smartphone brand in the country while vivo reached its highest ever shipment market-share with 17 percent, .
“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 in India,” said Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, Counterpoint.
Apple also made an entry into the Top 10 smartphone brands due to its price cuts on its XR models and its newly launched iPhone 11. However, as opposed to the double-digit growth in smartphone shipments, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of approx. 37 percent.
According to the report, the decline in feature phone shipments was because Reliance Jio – the company that produces “Jio Phones” was focused on clearing older inventory ahead of the Diwali season.
As a result, other domestic feature phone players such as itel, Lava and Karbonn registered positive annual growth.
While Samsung topped the list by shipping 22 percent of feature phones, itel acquired a 16 percent shipment share.
itel also became the No.1 smartphone brand in the less $70 (about Rs.500) retail price segment, achieving 40 percent year-on-year growth driven by strong offline expansion, upgraded features and localised marketing strategy.
“This was mainly driven by the spree of pre-festive season launches, aggressive marketing and incentivised channel strategy to maintain sufficient inventory to cash in on the festive season,” said Anshika Jain, a research analyst at Counterpoint.