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Xiaomi, Vivo top in Q42019 smartphone shipments; Samsung at No 3 spot

Samsung’s shipments are flat even as Apple’s iPhone is growing.

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MUMBAI: How the Chinese mobile brands are making merry in India. The latest study  from Counterpoint Research shows that Chinese brands today account for a 72 per cent share of 2019 smartphone shipments in India as against 60 per cent in 2018. Xiaomi regsitered a sales increase of seven per cent in Q42019 and five year for the whole year to continue to retain its marketshare of  27 per cent and 28 per cent respectively placing it at the No 1 position in India. In fact, India is a bigger market for it then is its home country China. What droves shipments this year was the fact that it expanded its offline retail presence as well as the strong performance of its Redmi Note series.Vivo shipped 136 per cent more handsets in Q42019 and 76 per cent more in 2019 overall, to  capture shares of 21 per cent and 16 per cent in the two periods respectively. In fact, its performance in Q42019 saw it dislodge Samsung from its second position. The south Korean megacorp had flat growth in Q42019 and it degrew five per cent in the whole of 2019. Its market share slipped from 20 per cent in Q4 2018 to 19 per cent in Q42019, even as it calendar year sales fell from 24 per cent in 2018 to 21 per cent in 2019.Samsung shipments were driven by its upgraded A and M series (A50s, A30s, M30s and A20s). This is the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). 

 Oppo shipments almost doubled YoY in Q4 2019, due to demand for its budget segment device A5s and the good performance of its recently launched devices A9 2020 and A5 2020 in the offline segment. Oppo is now aggressively moving towards higher price points with the introduction of the Reno series.It witnessed a 96 per cent growth in its shipments which saw its marketshare growing  from seven per cent (Q42018) to 12 per cent in Q42019. On an annualised basis, however, it trails behind realme which witnessed a spurt of 255 per cent in shipments as its share for the year grew to 10 per cent for the calendar year 2019 from three per cent in 2018. realMe continued to retain its marketshare of eight per cent in Q42019 by shipping 15 per cent more handsets.The Transsion group Itel, Infinix, and Tecno) reached its highest ever market share in Q4 2019. Transsion remained strong in tier 3, tier 4 cities and rural India. Itel was the number one smartphone brand in the entry-level sub-Rs 4,000 (US$ 60) price segment, while Tecno and Infinix showcased YoY growth in the Rs  6000-Rs  10000 (US$ 86-US$ 142) segment by bringing aggressive features at lower price-points like 6.6-inch displays, 20:9 aspect ratio, 5000 mAH battery, etc.itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019 followed by Samsung and Lava.  Apple was one of the fastest-growing brands in Q4 2019 driven by multiple price cuts on its XR device, thanks to local manufacturing in India. Additionally, 2019 saw the fastest rollout of Apple’s new iPhones (11 series) in India, with aggressive pricing and a good channel strategy. In fact, the new series especially iPhone 11 was introduced at a lower price point than the last year’s iPhoneXR. This has helped to gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India.Says Counteproint Research analyst  Anshika Jain:  “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 ave increased their offline points of sale, while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series. 2019 also marked the fifth anniversary in India for some OEMs. Several have seen significant growth from their first full year of operation. For example, 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." Counterpoint ends by saying that all major brands are now aiming to expand in the mid to high price tier, which is likely to be the fastest-growing segment in 2020.

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