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Chinese phone companies may spice up premium space in 2020

NEW DELHI: Aggressive Chinese smartphone companies Oppo, Vivo and Realme are set to challenge the dominance of OnePlus, Apple and Samsung in India’s premium segment in 2020, likely pushing growth in the category to the fastest ever.

Premium smartphones – those priced over Rs 30,000 – are expected to grow by 48% in 2020, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research. Research firm TechArc expects a 30% increase in 2020.

“India’s premium segment is still at a nascent stage, contributing just 6% to the market by volume. This is still low when compared to markets like the US and China, where the premium segment accounts for 50% and 22%, respectively,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research.

With Oppo, Vivo and Realme entering the premium segment, consumers are set to have an abundance of choice, which will help expand the market at a faster pace than before, analysts said.

Premium device shipments are expected to grow by 33% in 2019, while overall smartphone sales are expected to show muted growth – in single digits.

Growth in smartphone sales will be about 5% in 2020, Realme India chief executive officer Madhav Sheth told ET earlier, as people hold on to their devices for longer due to lack of innovation in new models and higher average prices.

In 2020, the category is expected to contribute 34-36% of the market by value, compared with less than 30% in 2019, according to TechArc.

The premium market is dominated by OnePlus, Samsung and Apple, which had 35%, 23% and 22% share, respectively, in the third quarter of 2019, data from Counterpoint Research showed. Oppo, Vivo and Realme, which, like OnePlus, are owned by China’s BBK, have already entered the category.

Realme, an online-only brand, plans to go offline in 2020, hoping to disrupt the segment with a slew of premium launches.


Source: Economic Times