The Indian smartphone market has seen a relatively modest growth of 4 percent in Q1 2020 with usual suspects like Xiaomi, Vivo and Real part of the mix. But the latest market share report brings a sense of worry from mobile giant Samsung, which has seen its market share position drop down to third. The biggest growth mover has been Realme, while Vivo takes Samsung’s behind, only behind Xiaomi in the market with 17 percent share.
All these details have been mentioned in the latest Counterpoint data, and as you can see below, the likes of Nokia and LG have dissapeared into the oblivion of ‘Others’ in the segment over the past few quarters.
Xiaomi has seen its market share increase from 29 percent in Q1 2019, to 30 percent this year. Vivo has seen its share move up from 12 percent to 17 percent over the past two quarters. However, Samsung’s figures paint a worried picture, as its share has gone down from 24 percent to just 16 percent in the Indian smartphone market.
Offline issues affecting sales?
It’s not clear as to why Samsung has seen a drastic drop in its share, but many believe that moving its primary focus from offline to online could have played a big role in this change.
We have come across various statements made by offline retailers, who complained that unlike a Xiaomi or Vivo, Samsung was giving preferential treatment to some of its products to online vendors, which compelled the offline sellers to encourage people to buy other brands.
In comparison to this, Realme is likely to have benefitted from its online-only strategy, but going forward, they will also compete with Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo in the offline retail space in the country. While Oppo’s share has also increased, their focus towards the offline market is likely to help them retain their existing position.
As for Samsung, the South Korean giant, which used to be the market leader in the country not too long ago, will have to retune its market and product focus, and ensure that both offline as well as its online partners get equal amount of support and push to sell its products.
Lockdown to worsen the scenario
With the country on lockdown since end of March, experts don’t foresee the market recovering before the third quarter onwards. “As a result of the pandemic, the overall smartphone shipments in India in 2020 are expected to decline by 10 percent,” as pointed out by Counterpoint in its report.