Technically, its BBK that’s at Second Spot in the Smartphone Shipments Race

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According to a recent study by Canalys Research BBK shipped a total of 8.6 million devices during Q1 2019 (not counting Oneplus shipment figures)

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Chinese smartphone maker Vivo posted its best ever performance in India in Q1 2019, shipping more than 4.5 million units, its best result since Q3 2018. The vendor placed third, taking 15.0 per cent of the market, up from 7.3 per cent a year ago. Oppo, as per the research by Canalys shipped 2.8 million devices during the same time, while Realme shipped 1.3 million devices durig Q1 2019.

Interestingly, Oppo, Vivo and Realme are all smartphone brands that operate under the umbrella of China-based BBK. Oneplus, a player in the premium smartphone segment, also functions under BBK’s umbrella. IQOO and Reno are two more BBK owned smartphone brands that are yet to make their India debut.

BBK’s smartphone shipments more than Samsung

Samsung, as per the report, shipped 7.3 million devices during Q1 2019. China based Xiaomi, holding on to its first position in the Indian smartphone market, was able to ship 9.5 million devices in the same quarter.

Canalys’ report read, “Xiaomi held onto its lead but grew just four per cent, its slowest rate since it entered the market. Samsung came second for a sixth consecutive quarter and was the only vendor in the top five to see its shipments shrink. Despite Vivo’s performance, the Indian smartphone market was flat, growing by under two per cent to 30.1 million units.”

However, it is to be noted here that Vivo, Oppo and Realme, together shipped 8.6 million devices in the same quarter. The number of devices shipped by OnePlus are added to the number. These 8.6 million devices shipped, technically make BBK the second player in the list to ship most devices.

Vivo and Realme’s performance

Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys, said, “Vivo’s expensive bets on the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket are paying off. Vivo has made several shrewd marketing investments, which also include signing internationally popular Bollywood actor Aamir
Khan as its brand ambassador. But it faces an intense battle in 2019, as Oppo’s Cricket World Cup sponsorship and Samsung’s fresh offensive with the new M series threaten to stifle momentum.”

It is to be noted here that Vivo paid six times the previous amount to retain title sponsorship of the IPL. IPL is touted as one of the world’s richest leagues. Realme, an Oppo spin-off, made a surprise appearance on the leader-board this quarter. Having only been in operation since Q2 last year, the vendor has steadily grown shipments, reaching 1.3 million units in Q1 2019.

“Realme’s struggle in 2019, will be the offline channel,” said Doshi. He contined, “To win in the offline channel, Realme will need to meet margin expectations, fund retailers to prioritize Realme, and invest in advertisements, banners and brand ambassadors. A mix of these forces is necessary to boost demand for the brand, as well as encourage retailers to stock and sell its phones. But Realme needs to be mindful of the fast-shifting channel landscape in India. Traditionally offline-focused vendors, such as Samsung, are pivoting to online quickly. A quick withdrawal of Samsung from the offline channel will result in accelerated consolidation, adding unwanted risk to channel expansion investments.”

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