With double-digit growth in the December quarter, India has ended 2019 with 8% growth in smartphone shipments. In spite of the slow start in first-half, shipments grew to 148 million in 2019 with the last quarter alone contributing 39 million units, said a report by research firm Canalys.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi retained its top position with 29% market share at 42.9 million shipments, which is about 1% less than its shipments figure of 2018. With these numbers, it registered a 5% annual growth. Second-placed Samsung saw a significant downfall in its market share to 22% from 26% in 2018.
Meanwhile, Chinese behemoth BBK Group, the parent company of OPPO, Vivo and Realme, emerged as the best performer taking together all its brands, capturing about 39% share of the Indian smartphone market last year.
In the December quarter, the BBK Group had a 42% share in the India smartphone market while Xiaomi had a 29% share.
Individually, OPPO, Realme and Vivo grew 44%, 473% and 72% respectively in 2019, added the report. Realme’s growth stood out among the BBK Group companies, shipping 15.2 million smartphones in 2019 against 2.7 million in the previous year.
Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary hailed the performance of the smartphone vendors in the last quarter.
“Online sales have been a silver lining, with vendors boosting sell-in to online retailers Flipkart and Amazon via exclusive tie-ups. However, relying exclusively on online channel proved to be a double-edged sword, especially for Realme, which has seen its sell-in fall as online sales slow after the festive season,” said Chaudhary.
iPhone maker Apple had the best-ever quarterly performance in the country. Apple shipped about 9.25 lakh iPhones in the December quarter, which contributed to its nearly 200% growth for the year. In Q3 of 2017, the US-based smartphone maker had shipped its previous best figure of 8.9 lakh iPhones in India.
In 2019, Apple shipped 2 million iPhones versus 1.6 million in 2018. The sales of iPhone improved largely due to strong demand and an effective promotion strategy adopted by the company. The report expects Indian smartphone shipments to continue growing by 8% to over 160 million units in 2020.
Though, it added that the long term roadmap will depend on two main factors: the health of telecom operators and the efficacy of Make in India.