India smartphone shipment grew 4 pc to 31 mn in March quarter

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Chinese phone brands controlled 66 percent of Indian smartphone market in the first quarter, with volumes rising 20 percent on the back of popularity for brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, RealMe and Oppo, according to Counterpoint Research.

Realme, which reached the top five smartphone vendor's list in India for the second consecutive quarters, has achieved gains thanks to its presence in online channels. Shipment volumes for Vivo jumped 119 percent, while those of Oppo rose 28 percent.

This has led to users spending more on their purchase which is driving up the overall average selling price in the market, he added.

Samsung, which recently launched the online-only "M" smartphone series, followed the Chinese smartphone maker with 23 per cent share, a drop of three per cent from 26 per cent share in the same quarter past year. "We estimate this trend to continue leading to a competitive mid-tier segment in coming quarters", Pathak said. "However, it faced strong market competition as compared to a year ago, while Samsung did a major refresh in its product portfolio, launching a new online-only M series", said Anshika Jain, research analyst, Counterpoint Research.

While the report did not disclose the shipment numbers for feature phones, it said Jio had a 30 per cent share, followed by Samsung (15 per cent), Lava (13 per cent), Nokia (8 per cent) and itel (7 per cent). Further, feature phone shipments are expected to cross one billion units by 2021. Down from From 31% to 29% and 26% to 23%, Xiaomi and Samsung, respectively, failed to attract the eyeballs of Indian smartphone consumers as they did in Q1 2018.

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Xiaomi held onto to its leadership, but shipments grew just 4% this quarter - its slowest growth rate since it entered the market. The report states that vivo's expanding Y-series portfolio along with the launch of the V15, accompanied by aggressive consumer engagement campaigns (around IPL) drove positive consumer demand.

The growth of Vivo, Oppo and Realme come at a time when the overall Indian smartphone industry saw a decline in the pace of growth, increasing only 4 percent YoY in terms of smartphone sales. Xiaomi is on an expansion spree by adding more number of offline stores - Mi Home, Mi Preferred Partners, Mi Stores.

India smartphone shipments grew 1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report from Strategic Analytics.

On the performance of different brands, Jain highlighted, "Xiaomi remains the market leader driven by new product launches".

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