Indian smartphone market had yet another successful quarter as phone companies led by Chinese vendors shipped 46.6 million units in the third quarter ending September of 2019. This was a 26.5% growth over the June quarter and 9.3% increase from the same period last year, according to the latest International Data Corporation's (IDC) quarterly mobile phone tracker.
Online sales due to the onset of festival season in India, price cuts of some of the existing models and new product launches were some of the key factors driving up the shipments. The offline market struggled to keep up with the online boom despite attempts to match offers with discounts and deals, which resulted in reduced footfall at retail stores and a year-on-year decline of 2.6% in July-September.
“The continued aggression by the online platforms with attractive cash back and buyback offers as well as affordability schemes like no-cost EMIs and financing options were key in taking the share of the online channel to a record high of 45.4% with year-on-year growth of 28.3%," Upasana Joshi, associate research manager, client devices, IDC India, said in a press statement.
The report also revealed that affordable smartphones in the range of $200 accounted for 80% of the total shipment, but it wasn’t the fastest growing segment. It was the mid segment in the range of $300-500 that got the most traction as shipments doubled year-on-year with high demand for handsets such as OnePlus 7, Vivo 15 Pro and Redmi K20 Pro.
With 51.3% market share, Apple remained the dominant vendor in the premium segment, which includes smartphones in the range of $500 and higher. IDC attributes Apple’s success to price cuts of several iPhone models including iPhone XR, iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 (128GB). The launch of latest iPhone 11 models also contributed to Apple’s growth. The average selling price (ASP) for the overall smartphone market in the third quarter of 2019 was $159, an increase of 2.7% from a year ago.
In terms of overall market share, Xiaomi was at the top with 27.1%, shipping the highest number of smartphones in any quarter. The Chinese company shipped 12.6 million units in the third quarter with a 8.5% on-year growth. Xiaomi’s Redmi 7A and Redmi Note 7 Pro were among the most sought after models. After several attempts to break into the mid-segment with models like Mi 5 and MI Mix 2, Xiaomi finally managed to gain some traction in the $300-500 segment with the Redmi K20 handsets. Xiaomi was also the leading vendor in online market with market share of 40%, as four out of five top selling models belonged to them.
Samsung remained the second biggest smartphone vendor with 18.9% market share, but its overall shipments have declined 8.5% from a year ago. While Galaxy M30s got a lot of traction, the time gap in the upgrade from previous generation Galaxy A series to the new Galaxy A10s and A50s contributed to this decline. Vivo remains at number three but now with a market share of 15.2% has reduced the gap with Samsung.
The two year old Chinese company Realme was the fastest growing vendor with a 401.3% on-year rise. The company now controls 14.3% of the market. Its parent company Oppo grew at 92.3% from a year ago and remained right behind Realme with 11.8% market share.
Feature phones accounted for 43.3% of overall mobile phone shipments. However, third quarter turned out to be slow with 17.5% year-on-year decline. IDC attributed the decline to stockpiling of 4G phones from earlier quarter and also dwindling demand for 2G and 3G handsets.
IDC’s findings are in line with Counterpoint Research’s report on July-September quarter of 2019. According to Counterpoint, India shipped 49 million units, growing at 10% on year.