73% of Smartphones Sold In India Are From China

Counterpoint Data On Indian Smartphone Market

Counterpoint recently released a report saying that thanks to the hot sales of Redmi 9 series products, Xiaomi’s share in the Indian smartphone market reached 26% in the first quarter, continuing to lead the market.

Counterpoint stated in the report that India’s total smartphone shipments in the first quarter reached 38 million units, a year-on-year increase of 23%, and shipments hit a record high in the same period. New product launches, promotions and financial plans, as well as pent-up demand from 2020, promoted the explosive growth of the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter.

Prachi Singh, Senior Research Analyst at Counterpoint, said: “Continuing with its stellar run, India’s smartphone market registered a third consecutive quarter of record shipments in Q1 2021, riding on pent-up demand. Consumer confidence also increased due to the beginning of a vaccination drive in the country. But these numbers should be taken with caution as a second and more virulent wave of COVID-19 is currently on in the country and is likely to impact the coming quarters. The consumer demand will take a hit due to the ongoing COVID-19 wave and subsequent lockdowns.”

Another Counterpoint analyst Shilpi Jain said: “The Chinese brands held a 75% share in the March-ended quarter. Xiaomi led the market with a 26% share, followed by Samsung, vivo, realme and OPPO. Xiaomi has recently expanded its manufacturing capabilities with new EMS partners, which helped the brand maintain strong shipments during the quarter. All the major brands are focusing on new product launches to drive consumer demand. Samsung maintained a high number of new product launches in its Galaxy M-series, Galaxy F-series as well as the Galaxy S21 series during the quarter. Besides, realme launched its 8 series, OnePlus announced its 9 series and Xiaomi launched its Redmi Note 10 series that has started well. Brands are also focusing on promotions and financial schemes to increase consumer demand.”

The report shows that thanks to the promotion of Redmi 9 series products, Xiaomi’s shipments in India in the first quarter increased by 4% year-on-year. The Redmi 9A is the best-selling model this quarter. The brand re-entered the mid-to-high-end market (20,000-30,000 Indian rupees, approximately US$280-420) after launching its latest 5G product Mi 10i 5G for nearly a year and a half. The Mi 10i 5G performed strongly in this market. The recently launched Redmi Note 10 series has been well received by consumers. These models mainly focus on the OLED display, design and camera. In response to strong demand, the brand has expanded its manufacturing base by cooperating with more environmental management system partners such as BYD and DBG.

Samsung Electronics is still the second largest brand of smartphone shipments in India, with a year-on-year growth of 52%, due to the company’s focus on the new M02 series and other budget smartphones. Samsung Electronics updated the A series with A32, A52 and A72, and updated the M series with M12. It also released the latest flagship product Galaxy S21 series earlier than the normal release period. Driven by the Galaxy S21 series and other flagship products, Samsung Electronics’ online portal has done quite well and increased its contribution within the channel.

Vivo’s shipments increased by 16% year-on-year, ranking third in the market. With the improvement of the new coronavirus pneumonia situation, Vivo’s offline channels recovered in the first quarter and continued to become the leading smartphone manufacturer in the offline market. The brand launched the latest flagship X60 series with advanced camera functions. The initial response of consumers was strong, thus continuing the momentum of the previous X50 series. The X series has brought a positive share to Vivo in the high-end market.

Realme’s shipments in the Indian market in the first quarter fell by 4% year-on-year, but it still maintained its fourth position in the market. Realme is pushing 5G smartphones to lower prices through its newly launched Narzo series and Realme X series. This quarter, Narzo 30 Pro 5G was the cheapest 5G smartphone product in the Indian market. In addition, the brand is expanding the coverage of its offline channels.

OPPO’s shipments in the first quarter increased by 12% year-on-year, and its market share was 11%. The OPPO Reno 5 Pro launched in the first quarter of 2021, occupied 3% of the market share of 5G smartphone shipments in India. It also updated the F series with the F19 series and entered the 5G mid-range market through the F19 Pro Plus. Consumers’ response to the F19 series has been positive.

In addition, Apple began to make efforts in the Indian market from the fourth quarter of 2020. In the first quarter, shipments of Apple products in the Indian market increased by 207% year-on-year. Apple has maintained its leading position in the high-end market, with a share close to 48%. Strong demand for iPhone 11, coupled with the aggressive pricing of iPhone SE 2020 and the expansion of “Made in India” capabilities, are the driving factors for this growth. Apple also shipped more than 1 million units for the first time in two consecutive quarters.

What’s more interesting is that POCO (Xiaomi’s sub-brand) became the fastest-growing brand in the first quarter of the past, with a year-on-year growth of 558%. Although it did not enter the top five, it has great potential in the future.

Canalys Data On Indian Smartphone Market

At the same time, another market research company, Canalys released a similar report. Its report shows that the smartphone shipments in the Indian market in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 11% to 37.1 million units.

From the perspective of vendor rankings, Xiaomi maintained its leading position in the market with 10.5 million shipments, a year-on-year increase of 2%. Samsung ranked second with sales of 7 million units, an increase of 11% year-on-year. Vivo shipped 6.7 million units, ranking third. Followed by OPPO and Realme, shipments were 4.7 million and 4.3 million, respectively. It is worth mentioning that four of the top five manufacturers are from China, with a total market share of 73%.

Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said: “It was a quarter to celebrate in India, as every one of the top five vendors grew. Xiaomi, for example, continued to drive its multi-brand strategy in established online channels, and is now implementing new initiatives to grow its offline presence. For example, its ‘Mi Store on Wheels’ turns road vehicles into mobile stores to reach smaller towns and rural locations. In the premium segment, Apple had a stellar performance in what is traditionally a soft quarter. Following a strong festival quarter, it shipped over a million iPhones in Q1, with demand for the iPhone 12 supported by local assembly and attractive finance offers, as well as sustained demand for the older iPhone 11. But the market-wide celebration will be short lived, as a resurgence of COVID-19 in India in Q2 will derail momentum.”

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