Research firm Canalys frequently releases insight on how smartphone brands perform in various parts of the world. The latest report looks into the smartphone market in India, which performed quite well towards the end-of-the-year quarter. We also get a look at the total performance of 2019 and how it compares to the previous year.
In Q4 of 2019, the Indian market grew by 14%, shipping 39 million smartphone units versus 34.1 million in the same quarter of 2018. Xiaomi leads the quarter with 11.2 million units with Samsung and Vivo in the respective second and third ranking spots, each selling 8.1 million and 7 million units, respectively.
Realme and Oppo took fourth and fifth, each selling 4.7 million and 3.4 million units. Realme saw the most relative growth (268%) out of the top 5 – the brand sold 1.3 million units in 2018.
Realme’s growth is even more impressive over 2019’s entirety – the brand’s sales grew by 473% in 2019 with 15.7 million units sold (versus just 2.7 million in 2018), earning its top 4 spot. Meanwhile, Xiaomi and Samsung both led with 42.9 million and 32.3 million units shipped in 2019 versus Xiaomi’s 41 million and Samsung slipped from 35.4 million in 2018. Oppo sold 16.1 million in 2019, up from 11.2 million.
India’s overall smartphone market saw 148.2 million units sold, up by about 8% from 2018’s 137.3 million sold.
Online sales have been a silver lining, with vendors boosting sell-in to online retailers Flipkart and Amazon via exclusive tie-ups. However, relying exclusively on the online channel proved to be a double-edged sword, especially for Realme, which has seen its sell-in fall as online sales slow after the festive season. – Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary
Apple finished in sixth, behind Oppo, selling 2 million units in 2019, up from 1.6 million in 2018. During the Q4 quarter, Apple broke 900 thousand units for the first time within a quarter in the country. Growth in sales is thanks to the iPhone 11 and the brand’s pricing strategy in India. The iPhone 11’s lower cost and Apple’s partnership with the local HDFC bank made it easier for Indian consumers to afford.
Looking towards 2020, the research firm estimates the smartphone market will grow by 8% with 160 million units sold. This, despite the tapering growth of the nation’s GDP in six years.