Chinese-based smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Lenovo (including Motorola) now account for over 51.4 percent share of the smartphone shipments in India — dominating the native vendors who saw a decline of 27% in sales over the same period.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 27 million smartphones were shipped to India in the first quarter of 2017 and more than half of them were from Chinese manufacturers.
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Chinese brands seem to have taken upon themselves to capture one of the biggest and thriving markets for smartphones and other consumer goods.
“Though homegrown vendors are making attempts to recapture the lost ground with new launches in sub-US$100 as well as in the mid-range segment. But intense competition from China-based vendors continues to be a major challenge and is expected to increase in the coming quarters,” Jaipal Singh, Market Analyst, IDC India, said.
Online Sales Have Increased But Not as Much as Offline
The report also mentions that people are getting more used to buying devices online as the online sales saw an increase of 7.7 percent in Q1 2017 over Q1 2016.
Xiaomi has been leading the online shipments in India with over 40% of the total devices being shipped online sporting their brand name.
The company’s new Redmi Note 4 device also overtook Samsung’s Galaxy J2 device — which was Q4 2016’s highest selling device — with an increase in shipment in Q1 2017.
“Online channel has established itself as a prominent distribution medium in Indian smartphone market with a stable contribution of almost one-third of total shipments for last few quarters,” said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, IDC.
Camera Seems to be a Major Dealmaker
Smartphone manufacturers have long been innovating mostly on camera tech and the Chinese brands seem to have taken the reins in the race as over 62 percent of the devices sold by Chinese manufacturers have 13MP primary camera or greater.
This goes to show that the Chinese brands are playing on people’s interest in a higher quality camera tech at a lower cost.
Vivo is one of the most surprise players as it climbed into the top 3 smartphone sellers in India, which is a huge jump taking into account they didn’t even figure in the top 10 last year.
Although there has been an increase in online sales, especially due to Xiaomi’s efforts, the offline market seems to be the new playing field for smartphone manufacturers.
A growing number of them — namely Oppo, Vivo, and Lenovo — have been trying to propel their device sales using offline markets, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities where internet penetration still lags behind.