- Indian smartphone market registers 14.5% YoY growth in CY2018
- Xiaomi topped smartphone shipments with 28.9% market share
- Samsung was second securing 22.4% share
- JioPhone leads feature phone market with 36.1% share
The Indian smartphone market saw 142.3 million units shipped in the Calendar Year 2018 (CY18), registering a 14.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth as compared to 2017, International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker has said. Capturing 28.9 percent market share, Xiaomi shipped a total of 41.1 million devices in CY18. Samsung followed with 22.4 percent share and 31.9 million phone shipments. Vivo and Oppo followed the suit by capturing 10 percent and 7.2 percent market share with 14.2 million and 10.2 million smartphone shipments respectively.
The market research firm says that after a strong third quarter of 2018, the Indian smartphone market saw a sequential decline of 15.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 owing to high channel inventory. However, on year-over-year (YoY) basis, the quarter saw an annual growth of 19.5 percent, which was driven primarily by multiple rounds of sales by e-tailers beyond the festive Diwali period lasting into December.
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“Amongst the big highlights of 2018 were the online-focused brands that drove the share of the online channel to an all-time high of 38.4 percent in 2018 and a whopping 42.2 percent in 2018Q4. This was primarily driven by several rounds of discounts by e-tailers driving affordability through various financing options, cashback offers and buyback schemes. Shipments of the online-exclusive portfolios of Xiaomi, Honor, Realme, Asus, OnePlus etc., further fueled this growth, resulting in a year-on-year growth of 47.3 percent in the quarter for the online channel,” Upasana Joshi , Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.
In comparison, the offline channel had a modest 6.7 percent annual growth in 2018 and growing 5.0 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter last year. Although the offline channel was unable to keep pace with the discounts and go-to-market initiatives from the e-tailers, it still remains the largest channel for mobile phone distribution in India. Further, the market research firm said that due to the government’s initiative to push local manufacturing in India, 2018 witnessed further duty hikes on mobile phone components, which coupled with weakened rupee, added to the challenges of the brands outside the Top 5.
“The premium end of the market (above$500) outgrew all other price segments in 2018 with 43.9 percent YoY growth, although it still constitutes a meager 3 percent share of the overall smartphone market. OnePlus emerged as the leader in $500-$700 segment on the back of the OnePlus 6 and the OnePlus 6T. However, in the super premium segment of$700+, Samsung surpassed Apple for the top position with its Galaxy S9 series,” Joshi commented on the price segment trends.
Xiaomi grew 28.6 percent YoY in the fourth quarter of 2018 due to its affordable Redmi series devices and offline expansion with opening of rural stores. Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5/Pro series emerged as the fastest selling devices of 2018 across brands driving 10 million shipments each in the entire year. The brand also led in the online channel with a share of 47.2 percent and climbed to the second slot in the offline channel by surpassing Vivo in the quarter.
Although Samsung witnessed YoY decline of 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, it remained in the second position. The Galaxy A7 (2018) with triple cameras picked up demand followed by its Android Go model, the Galaxy J2 Core. Vivo continued at third spot with high YoY growth of 79.6 percent in the quarter. Its affordable models Y81 and Y71 generated maximum demand along with the flagship range of V11 and V11 Pro series.
Realme entered the top 5 vendor list at fourth position on the back of its affordable and aggressively priced Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro series. The brand also moved from the fourth position in the third quarter to the second position in the online space with a share of 17.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Oppo took the fifth spot with YoY growth of 71.7 percent in the last quarter. The brand’s “A series” models the A3s and A83 generated middling demand.
The feature phone market made up 56.0 percent of the total mobile phone market and clocked 181.3 million-unit shipments in 2018, with 10.6 percent YoY growth. This was primarily driven by Jio Phone shipments through the year, which contributed to 36.1 percent of overall feature phone shipments. The 2G/2.5G market declined by 23.0 percent YoY in 2018 owing to high demand for 4G enabled feature phones in the market.