The Indian smartphone market has seen some big shifts in the last couple of years, with trends moving away from what they have traditionally been. And while recent times have seen Chinese smartphone brands take center-stage, it’s also been a tough fight among the Chinese brands themselves. Vivo and Oppo, which rapidly expanded to take over nearly 22 percent of the market between the two brands last year, have seen their combined market share drop to just over 11 percent this year.
A report by Counterpoint Research on the India smartphone market in Q1 2018 has highlighted the market shares of various brands in India, and the biggest losers are Chinese brands Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo. While the former two brands are retaining their ranks at third and fourth place, the reduction in market share will be a bothersome trend that the brands will want to reverse quickly. Lenovo-Motorola, on the other hand, has dropped out of the top five entirely, with a dwindling market share that can only be blamed on its latest affordable and mid-range smartphones being average at best.
Smartphones in India
The biggest gainers this quarter, according to the report, are Xiaomi and Huawei (through its sub-brand Honor). While Xiaomi continues to grow rapidly and extend its lead at the top to 31 percent, Honor has finally broken into the top five with a market share of 3.4 percent. In comparison, Honor held just a 1.4 percent market share in the same quarter last year, and has registered a growth of more than double.
Xiaomi’s growing lead is also taking a toll on the combined rest of the market, which has had its share drop from 37.8 percent to 27.9 percent, meaning that the number one brand ships more smartphones than every other brand outside the top five. Samsung continues to sit tight at number two, with a small increase in its market share.
Feature phones in India
Also a part of the Counterpoint Research report is the state of the India feature phone market. Here, two brands stand out, as having built massive market share in less than a year. Reliance Jio leads the market with a 35.8 percent market share, up from nothing, considering that the brand was not in the business of feature phones until mid-2017. Nokia (under the HMD Global banner) too has grown from zero to a 7.3 percent market share in under a year.
WATCH: JioPhone First Look
Meanwhile, the biggest loser in the space is Samsung, which has seen a huge drop from over 25 percent to just under 10 percent in the year. Other brands too have lost out thanks to the launch of the JioPhone, which took the feature phone market by storm over the past few months. The JioPhone has succeeded thanks to its low price, 4G connectivity and add-on services, which sets it apart from the rest of the feature phone market. Additionally, affordable data and free calling on the Jio network have helped Jio to grow rapidly in the feature phone space.