While Samsung remained at the top, China smartphone makers occupied four of the top five positions to snare the lion’s share in India in Q4, according to Canalys.
Their extremely price-competitive devices pushed out India makers, who have been hit hard by the Indian government’s decision to demonetise the INR500 and INR1,000 (US$7.30 and US$14.65) banknotes.
“Local brands’ target customers typically buy in cash and from independent retailers. With the short-term liquidity crunch caused by demonetisation, these retailers are suffering a slowdown in consumer spending. Local vendors are losing out as retailers look to shift their stock to fast-moving, current devices. In Q4 2015, Micromax, Intex and Lava took second, third and fifth place, accounting for almost 30 percent of the market. One year on and all three vendors have dropped out of the top five, with their collective share falling to around 11 percent,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst of Canalys.
Samsung continues to lead the market with shipment of around 6.2 million units, in line with the previous quarter. Second-placed Xiaomi’s focus on Indian expansion continued to pay off as it reached the three million-unit mark, growing by more than 230 percent year on year. Oppo was the best-performing vendor in the top five, shipping 2.6 million units, up from 150,000 a year ago, and a 150 percent increase from the previous quarter. Lenovo finished fourth with just under 2.6 million units shipped, followed by Vivo, which shipped just over two million smart phones.
“Oppo’s intensive brand-building has paid off. In the past year, it has sponsored popular TV shows, T20 cricket and signed up local celebrities Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor to build popularity. Beyond sponsorships, Oppo has also driven strong channel expansion activities, investing in channel marketing initiatives and securing vital shelf space with local mobile retailers. While this is a capital-intensive approach, the significance of building a brand in India cannot be underestimated,” said Lucio Chen, Research Analyst of Canalys.