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How Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Fairing In India

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  • Post last modified:February 21, 2019


The booming smartphone market in India not only posted incredible gains against calendar year data, but also against year-over-year (YoY) Q4 17 data…according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) study. The report notes smartphone shipments grew 19.5% vs. this time last quarter.

Within the study, investors will observe the absolute dominance of Chinese based telecom firms. RealMe, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi make-up 53.2% of the Indian smartphone market. OPPO and vivo are brands under BBK Electronics, a Guangdong Province based firm, while RealMe is a Shenzhen operation…aka located in the hardware capital of the world.

Aside from deep Chinese penetration, the Indian market has been flush with supply. Shipments for the 2018 calendar year grew 14.5%. Transsion led the charge with 75.9% shipment growth in 2018 vs. 2017. Transsion grew to power after the company focused on the African market with features like dual SIM card ports, cameras that specialize in African complexion and long lasting batteries… focused on solving their users issues.

IDC’s Associate Research Director notes that e-tailers was an important trend in the Indian market, but that online and offline buying is still essential to gaining any traction in India. Moreover, new regulations from Press Note 3 hangs over investor heads, the political move is seeking to limit the amount of supply that comes out of one firm for an internet based retail operation. For example a firm would need to diversify their supply chain if their supplier exceeds 25% of sales.

Micromax and Reliance Industries, both local smartphone developers out of India, have seen their market share fall out of the top 5 in the last 4 quarters. Reliance Industries had as much as 24% share in Q4 2017 and now does not crack the top 5 in terms of share. The speed at which Chinese firms have taken over displays how quickly consumers can shift their preferences and how competitive the market is.

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