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Smartphone growth slows to 7% in 2019: Counterpoint

NEW DELHI: The Indian smartphone industry showed a muted single-digit growth of 7% annually in the previous year, a figure close to 2016 levels, the year of demonetization.

“Due to availability of better performance devices, the smartphone market in India has matured, with people holding on to their devices for longer periods. This is the primary reason for slow growth,” said Karan Chauhan, analyst at Counterpoint Market Research.

Since 2017, when the market grew fast-paced at 13%, the number has been declining rapidly to 10% in 2018 and sequentially to 7% in 2019. The market intelligence firm expects the growth rate reviving back to a double-digit number (more than 10%) in the year 2020, due to ongoing transition from feature phones to smartphones and progressive diffusion of key features to entry-level price tier as well as a result of hyper-competition among multiple players.

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55%,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Market Research

Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi continued to capture the number one position for the second successive year with a market share of 28%, followed by Samsung (21%), Vivo (16%), Realme (10%) and Oppo (9%).

Top five Chinese handset brands including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus, share hit a record 72% for the year 2019 as compared to 60% share a year ago, the report said.

“Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15x, 24x, and 18x respectively. This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research.

However, Samsung shipments remained almost flat year-on-year while it has shown a 5% market share decline in 2019. Xiaomi’s growth rate in 2019 also declined to single-digit as Xiaomi is now serving a much larger installed base in India, the report said.

Vivo grew 76% annually in 2019 driven by good performance of its budget segment series.

“Also, by successfully pivoting to online and aggressively positioning the S series in the offline segment with new features, it managed to make a dent in INR 15,000 ($250)- INR 20,000 ($300) segment. Due to this, Vivo captured the second spot for the first time in India smartphone market,” the report added.

Apple was one of the fastest-growing brands in last quarter of 2019 driven by multiple price cuts on its XR device. Due to aggressive pricing and channel strategy, Apple gained share during the festive season in India, the report said.

Source: Economic Times