A new report has revealed that the Indian smartphone industry grew by 10 percent in 2018. This growth which is quite different from the decline that we saw across the globe pushed the total number of smartphone shipments to 137 million. This growth reaffirmed India as one of the bright spots from smartphone makers in a time where the shipments are declining. The report also noted that the Indian smartphone market accounts to “more than 10 percent” portion of the global smartphone market. To give some sense of growth, the report noted that the Indian smartphone industry accounted for about 6 percent in the global smartphone market share about five years ago.
The report by analyst firm Canalys also added that India is one of the six markets the show increase in growth in the top 20 markets. Markets including Indonesia, Russia, and Italy managed to overtake India in terms of growth but it is the only country to show consecutive growth for the last three years. Canalys also noted that Xiaomi leads the charge in 2018 growth by shipping about 41 million devices while taking 29.9 percent piece of the total smartphone market in the country.
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Samsung came in the second spot while shipping about 35.4 million devices while Vivo and Oppo took the third and fourth spot respectively. Vivo shipped 14.4 million while Oppo shipped 11.2 million devices last year. Talking about the annual growth, Xiaomi was on top with 59.6 percent growth while Samsung was on the second spot with 20.4 percent annual growth.
As part of the report, Canalys Research Manager Rushabh Doshi issued a statement adding, “The impact of a declining Chinese market on vendors such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi was pronounced, with Oppo and Vivo reducing both their adobe and below-the-line marketing efforts significantly to counter falls in their Chinese businesses. Xiaomi, on the other hand, focused heavily on India, with excellent results. India is now the biggest market for Xiaomi worldwide.” He went on to state, “2019 will be more disruptive than 2018”.
Doshi mentioned that new FDI regulations are likely to push smartphone makers to offline with implications on online sales through e-commerce platforms. However, the silver lining is likely to be the increased income tax ceiling from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh which will result in a “higher net pay” and “slightly higher disposable income”. This likely means that smartphone makers can increase the prices of their devices this year to improve their margins without hurting themselves.