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Did You Know: India Overthrew The US As Second-Largest Smartphone Market In 2019

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India overthrew the US as the second-largest smartphone market in the world behind China. The Indian smartphone market recorded a 7 percent growth in 2019 at 158 million units, as a Business Today article notes.


The budget phone, benefitting from aggression displayed by China’s big brands, led the market sales including market leader, Xiaomi.


According to research done by Counterpoint, the introduction of many flagship-grade features satisfied demand from mobile users looking to upgrade their first or second smartphone. This is in addition to online channels becoming selling platforms of choice that have helped the segment duck the slowdown.


India smartphone market
Xiaomi led the Indian market for a second consecutive year. Photo: NDTv.


Tarun Pathak, an Associate Director with Counterpoint said:


“Although the rate of growth for the smartphone market was only single digit for the first time on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets; 4G penetration among subscribers being around 55 percent.”

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He added:


“Going forward, we expect this demand to grow further due to the ongoing transition from feature phones to smartphones and progressive diffusion of key smartphone features to the entry-level price tier as a result of hyper-competition among multiple players.


We further expect brands to have multi-tier strategies involving partnerships in the mobile ecosystem. From hardware, software, and services, thus creating opportunities within different segments like entertainment, gaming, financial services and more.” 

Chinese brands expanded their footprint online and offline to gain market share

Xiaomi led for the second consecutive year with 28 percent share in the Indian market. Samsung came second at 21 percent,  three percent down from 2018. Vivo, took third position at 16 percent against 10 percent in 2018. Realme had the biggest gain increase in market share in 2019 with a gain of 7 percent.


Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research explained:


“Chinese brands’ share hit a record 72 percent for 2019 compared to 60 percent a year ago. During 2019 we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For example, Xiaomi, Realme, and OnePlus increased their offline points of sale, while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series.


“Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15x, 24x, and 18x respectively. This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture the next wave of growth and further expand their operations in India.”


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