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iPhone Sales Tumble as Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo Lead the Indian Smartphone Market

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 Q4 2018.

Kunal Khullar | News18.com

Updated:February 12, 2019, 12:30 PM IST
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iPhone Sales Tumble as Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo Lead the Indian Smartphone Market
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 Q4 2018.
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All is not well for Apple as yet another report suggests that iPhone sales are plummeting in India. IDC (International Data Corporation), provider of market intelligence and advisory, says that while the Indian smartphone market grew by 14.5 percent last year, iPhone sales fell by 40 percent in 2018.

“The premium end of the market (above US$500) outgrew all other price segments in 2018 with 43.9 percent year-on-year growth, although it still constitutes a meager 3 percent share of the overall smartphone market. OnePlus emerged as the leader in US$500-US$700 segment on the back of the OnePlus 6 and the newly-launched OnePlus 6T. However, in the super premium segment of US$700+, Samsung surpassed Apple for the top position with its Galaxy S9 series," says Upasana Joshi , Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

Despite the global smartphone market slowing down, India is the only major country that is still on the path of growth. The report says that about 142.3 million smartphones sold in 2018 but at the same time, 181.3 million feature phones were sold. This means, that in time, there is more scope of growth as the feature phone owners are eventually going to move to smartphones.

Xiaomi continued to dominate, growing year-on-year by 28.6 percent in Q4 2018 on back of its affordable Redmi series devices aided by high decibel marketing campaigns and offline expansion with its Mi preferred partner program and 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.

Samsung remained in the second position, however with a year-on-year decline of 7.9 percent in Q4 2018. The newly-launched Galaxy A7 (2018) with triple cameras picked up demand in Q4 2018 followed by its Android Go model, the Galaxy J2 Core. The brand is expected to make a comeback with its new online exclusive “M series”.

Vivo continued at third position with high year-on-year growth of 79.6 percent in Q4 2018. Its affordable models -the Y81 and Y71 - continued to generate maximum demand along with the flagship range of V11 and V11 Pro series. The brand continued to invest heavily in marketing and promotional activities and offering lucrative channel margins.

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 Q3 2018 to the second position in the online space with a share of 17.3 percent in Q4 2018. The brand plans to extend its footprint into offline channel initially through Large Format Retail Stores like Reliance Digital and gradually scale up to traditional brick and mortar stores.

Oppo continued at fifth position, with high year-on-year growth of 71.7 percent in Q4 2018. The brand’s “A series” with models like the A3s and A83 generated middling demand. However, it continues to face stiff competition from Vivo in the offline channel owing to lower channel incentives and consumer schemes.
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