According to industry sources, two of the leading Chinese smartphone makers, OnePlus and Realme, have decided to stop manufacturing and selling televisions in India. The move comes at a time when the smart TV market is witnessing strong growth in the country, driven by the popularity of streaming services and online sales festivals.
OnePlus and Realme entered the TV segment in 2019 and 2020 respectively, offering competitive pricing and features to challenge established players such as LG, Samsung, Sony and more. They had also invested in building sales channels and a reputation in the category and had also managed to gain traction in recent years.
However, as TOI reports citing sources familiar with the matter, “OnPlus and Realme have decided to move out of the television category, even though they continue to operate in the smartphone business”. The reason for their withdrawal is unclear, but it could be due to the intense pressure on Chinese companies in India, especially after last year’s border clashes. It could also be due to stiff competition from local players like Thomson.
Xiaomi, a brand originating from the same region as OnePlus and Realme, continues to dominate the TV segment in India. It LED the TV market with a 14 per cent share in the first half of 2023, while Samsung stood second with a 13 per cent market share.
This is a surprising development, considering the segment held great potential for the brands. A report from International Data Corporation (IDC) recently showed that the Indian smart TV market increased by 8 per cent (year-over-year) in the first half of 2023, and approximately 4.5 million units were shipped during that time.
A report from Counterpoint suggested that OnePlus was one of the fastest-growing brands in the Smart TV segment and ranked third in H1 2023. The Y1S and Y1s Pro series were among its bestsellers. Xiaomi came in first, while Samsung took the second position.