NEW DELHI: The combined market share of Chinese smartphone brands in India fell to 72% in the June quarter from 81% in the March quarter due to anti-China sentiments, delayed imports due to security reasons and stuttering supply, Counterpoint Research reported in its quarterly tracker.
“This was mainly due to the mixture of stuttering supply for some major Chinese brands such as OPPO, vivo and realme, and growing anti-China sentiment that was compounded by stringent actions taken by the government to ban more than 50 apps of Chinese origin and delay the import of goods from China amid extra scrutiny,” Shilpi Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said in a statement.
The backlash against Chinese brands grew stronger in June as the border dispute between the two countries escalated.
Many associations and public figures called for the boycott of Chinese products including smartphones.
As a result, many retailers across India witnessed slump in demand for smartphones by Chinese vendors and increase in demand for phones by non Chinese brands like Samsung and Nokia.
According to Counterpoint, except for Vivo, market share of all Chinese brands in the June quarter saw some level of decline.
Xiaomi’s shipments fell from 30% in March quarter to 29% in June quarter, while Realme’s market share fell from 14% to 11% and Oppo’s market share dropped from 12% to 9% during the same time period.
Jain points out, the recent developments in India has opened a window of opportunity for other brands like Samsung and local Indian brands such as Micromax and Lava, to recapture market share. Jio-Google’s partnership to make highly affordable 4G Android smartphones could also be successful due to growing campaigns like #VocalforLocal that are promoting local brands over foreign Chinese brands.
Lack of alternatives is a major problem for buyers who don’t want to buy phones by Chinese brands. Barring Samsung, Nokia, LG and Apple there aren’t many options. Phones by LG and Nokia do not pose any serious challenge in terms of price to performance ratio. Apple’s phones are too expensive and beyond the budget of average Indian buyers. The ASP (average selling price) for smartphones in India is $171 ( ₹12,801) as per IDC.
“However, local manufacturing, R&D operations, attractive value-for-money offerings and strong channel entrenchment by Chinese brands leaves very few options for consumers to choose from,” adds Jain.
Samsung is the only serious challenger and the brand has gained ground in the June quarter, replacing Vivo to become the second leading smartphone vendor. It’s market share grew from 16% in the March quarter to 26% in the June quarter.