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Four of the top five smartphone brands sold in India are Chinese

Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Aviation and social media reporter

China has established a strong hold over the Indian smartphone market.

Four of the five highest-selling smartphone brands in India during April-June this year were from the mainland, according to data from Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Research. South Korea’s Samsung was the only non-Chinese brand in the top five by market share.

The China-based BBK group, the parent company of OPPO, Vivo, Realme, and OnePlus, became the country’s leading smartphone seller for the first time, capturing a combined 30% share.

“The top five brands’ contribution to the total shipments volume reached its highest ever level, driven by new launches and hybrid channel strategy,” said Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint. “Localisation, branding, and innovation will remain the next key drivers for growth in a highly competitive market like India.”

Overall, smartphone shipments in India grew to 37 million units in the three months, setting a June quarter record, the Counterpoint study showed.

The hits and misses

In the smartphone category, Xiaomi retained its top spot, leveraging the benefits of an aggressive offline reach along with portfolio expansion.

Meanwhile, in the premium smartphone segment, OnePlus dethroned Seoul-based Samsung to become the top player, driven by strong demand for its newly launched OnePlus 7 series, Counterpoint Research said.

This quarter was one of the best for Realme. Driven by a strong performance of Realme C2 and Realme 3 Pro models, and due to various discount offers on online platforms, Realme continued to be among the top five smartphone brands for a third consecutive quarter. It has also become the fastest brand to reach the eight-million-unit-shipment milestone in India within a year of its debut.

Meanwhile, Huawei struggled owing to the trade ban by the US. However, it still managed to find a place in the top 10 smartphones brands in India.

Love lost for feature phones

The feature phone segment, however, witnessed a sharp decline of around 39%.

The main reason for this is the lower demand for JioPhone, which registered a decrease of 19% in June quarter as compared to the same period in 2018. However, other players, including Samsung, Lava, and Nokia, expanded their market shares.

“Brands which focused on offline channels expanded to online channels with exclusive series. Similarly, companies that entered the market with online-exclusive series are now expanding their reach towards offline channel by forming partnerships with key offline retailers,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint. “This strategy is working well for all the leading at-scale players.”

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