BBK Leading Smartphone Market in India: Counterpoint Research

  • This is the first time that BBK has reached this feat in the country
  • BBK operates Oppo, Realme, Vivo and Oneplus smartphone brands in India

The smartphone shipments in India grew to 37 million units, single-digit annually during Q2 2019 setting a second-quarter shipment record, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. The growth was driven by new launches, price cuts on older devices and channel expansion across brands. Realme, Asus, OnePlus and Nokia HMD were the fastest growing brands year on year.

Tarun Pathak, associate director, Counterpoint, said, “Brands which focused on offline channels expanded to online channels with online-exclusive series. Similarly, brands which entered the market with online-exclusive series are now expanding their reach towards offline channel by forming partnerships with key offline retailers. This strategy is working well for all the leading at-scale players. Also, brands are launching multiple series to target or expand into new product tiers. This is helping them to expand their product portfolio to target multiple fast-growing segments and also diversify.

Pricing sweet-spot for consumers moved to Rs 10,000 to 20,000 price band

“In India, the pricing sweet-spot for consumers has moved to INR 10,000-20,000 price band and it will remain the biggest contributor in the India smartphone segment this year. Brands are focusing on bringing the latest premium level specifications such as notch display, full-screen view, multiple rear cameras, pop up selfie feature and in-display sensor technology in this segment to stimulate consumer demand”, Pathak added.

Top five smartphone brands contribution reached the highest ever level in Q2 2019. BBK Group (Oppo + vivo + Realme + Oneplus) became the leading smartphone manufacturer in India for the first-time ever capturing a combined 30% share.

Commenting on the overall smartphone market, Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “The top five brands’ contribution to the total shipments volume reached its highest ever level driven by new launches and hybrid channel strategy. Localization, branding, and innovation will remain to be the next key drivers for growth in a highly competitive market like India. The market will continue to become more concentrated with majority of share controlled by a few brands leading to more number of exits among the long-tail brands in the market moving forward.”

Top performers

Xiaomi captured the top spot in Q2 2019 with a 28 per cent share. Its shipments grew six per cent YoY driven by portfolio expansion and aggressive offline expansion in the budget segment. Xiaomi is expanding its retail strategy with increasing investment in ATL/BTL campaigns.

Samsung shipments declined by seven per cent YoY, however, it has shown 30 per cent growth QoQ driven by refreshed A series and M series, price cuts of older J series and higher channel incentives during IPL season. Samsung’s A-series remained quite popular with Galaxy A10 being the top-selling device for the brand. The brand also expanded its Amazon exclusive M-series with launch of Galaxy M40 smartphone during the month of June. Samsung remained strong in the premium segment with good performance of its Galaxy S10 series.

BBK Group (the combined holding group of Oppo, vivo, Realme and OnePlus) captured the top spot in India Smartphone Market for the first time ever with a combined 30 per cent share. This is the third consecutive quarter that Realme has been within the top 5 brands driven by strong performance of Realme C2 and Realme 3 Pro and various discount offers rolled out on online platforms. Realme C2 crossed 1 mn mark within a couple of months of launch. It became the fastest brand to reach 8 million smartphone shipments in India market within one year of its debut for any brand ever in India.

While the smartphone market registered growth YoY, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of approx 39% annually coming from a very strong demand for Reliance Jio’s Jiophone a year ago and some inventory built-up in the market for Jio. The feature phone demand is back to the 2017 (pre-Jiophone) level but it remains to be seen if the entry-level smartphones in coming quarters are able to attract the hundreds of millions of feature phone users. Due to the slowing demand for Jiophone players such as Samsung, Lava and iTel were able to capture share in sub-INR 1000 segment during the quarter.