Samsung has regained the top position to ship maximum number of smartphones capturing 29 percent of the total Indian market share in the second quarter of 2018. Xiaomi -- which topped its South Korean counterpoint in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018 -- came second in the quarter with a market share of 28 percent, market research firm Counterpoint Research has found. Vivo and Oppo (including Realme) capture the third and the fourth spots with 12 percent and 10 percent market share, respectively. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is placed at the fifth position with 3 percent share.
“Samsung has regained the leading position back after receding it to Xiaomi two quarters ago. The success of Samsung during the quarter can be attributed to its refreshed J series as it launched the most number of models as compared to any brand across multiple price points during the quarter. These new launches brought some of the most popular and sought after features like dual camera, infinity display, and facial unlock across different price segments for Samsung for the first time ever. Additionally, the strong offline distribution and aggressive marketing campaign around its J series helped the brand to gain not only market but also mind share during the quarter. 2H 2018 is likely to be a close race between Samsung and Xiaomi especially during the important upcoming festive season,” Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.
Samsung regained its lead in Q2 due to its strong performance of budget segment models such as the Galaxy J6, Galaxy J2 2018 and Galaxy J4. Xiaomi recorded its highest ever shipments in India during the quarter. Its growth can be attributed to company’s strong product and supply chain strategy which has allowed it to launch products with a longer shelf life than its competitors in the important sub-Rs 10,000 segment. With an increase in the market share in the offline segment, Xiaomi pivots a multi-channel strategy in the country. Vivo's shipment increase was driven by new launches, celebrity endorsement and aggressive campaign around IPL 2018. Its V9 became its most popular V series smartphone ever. During the quarter, OPPO launched its sub-brand Realme in partnership with Amazon to increase its online presence. It quickly managed to grab 1 percent share of the total smartphone market.
All-in-all, with top five brands capturing 82 percent of the total share, the smartphone market returned to double digit growth 18 percent year-on-year (YoY) after a flat first quarter growth, however, the feature phone market still continues to outpace the smartphone market with a 21 percent YoY growth. “India smartphone market returned to double digit growth during the quarter and is likely to grow in double digits for the entire year. Growth during the quarter was driven by new launches and strong promotions across both online and offline channels during the quarter. Smartphone brands leveraged the Indian premier league (IPL) 2018 season as they timed their new launches and campaigns around the same with a slew of offers across multiple channels,” Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, added.
Jain notes that since the volume share of the top five players grew more than 80 percent, local and smaller players were forced to change their strategy which involved changing channels and product strategy along with cutting down on SKUs. “Additionally, the increase in duties for handset components announced during the starting of the quarter, forced smaller players to delay their product launches as they don’t have necessary operations to save on the increased tariffs for certain components like populated printed circuit boards, mechanics and others,” the analyst said.
But this didn’t stop Reliance Jio, which captured almost half of the total feature phone market driven by the success of its Jiophone, to register its highest shipment ever. Reliance Jio is likely to maintain the growth momentum as it refreshed its Jiophone coupled with aggressive upgrade offer of Rs 501 and bringing popular apps including WhatsApp to Jiophone 2.
OnePlus with 284 percent, Honor with 188 percent and Xiaomi with 112 percent were the fastest growing smartphone brands during the quarter. Honor continues to retain its share among top five brands while OnePlus leads the premium segment for the first time ever. Apple had a slow quarter as it underwent changes in its distribution strategy. Apart from this, its domestic assembling is yet to pick up pace, which means the Cupertino giant is still relying on imports for its sales in India. Apple had 1 percent market share during the quarter, its lowest in recent history. Lava is the only local brand which registered positive annual growth during the quarter driven by entry level models including its first Android Go device, the Z50. Transsion group led by itel, Tecno, Infinix and Spice continues to grow in smartphone segment in India. Tecno grew 74 percent sequentially as it brought full screen and facial unlock features at an entry level price during the quarter.
Top Selling Models
The top five best-selling models captured almost 29 percent smartphone share during the second quarter. Three out of the top five models during the quarter were from Xiaomi with Redmi 5A being the best seller during the quarter, followed by Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro as its demand remained strong with the device outpacing its rivals with specifications in similar price bands. Samsung’s new J6 entered the top five rankings within a quarter of the launch as the the new launches during the quarter, like Galaxy J6, J2 (2018) and J4 series, contributed to more than half of the total Samsung smartphone shipments.
Vivo’s Y71 was its best seller in mid segment while its V9 series remained the leader in the segment. OnePlus 6 was the best-selling model in premium segment making it the leader for the full quarter surpassing Samsung and Apple. Other models which did well during the quarter were Realme 1, Honor 9 lite, OPPO F7 and Redmi 5.