Festival sales by e-commerce companies have driven smartphone sales to a new high in India. The country’s smartphone market shipped 46.6 million units in the third quarter of 2019, a 26.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth and a 9.3 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth, International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reported. The higher sales were nudged by new model launches as well as price corrections on key models.
“The continued aggression by the online platforms with attractive cashback and buyback offers as well as affordability schemes like No Cost EMIs and financing options were key in taking the share of the online channel to a record high of 45.4 per cent with Y-o-Y growth of 28.3 per cent,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, noted in a statement.
While online sales rocked, there was less encouraging news from the offline channel. Offline sales continued to face challenges with a 2.6 per cent Y-o-Y decline in the third quarter of 2019, IDC noted. “Even as the offline channel players tried to match their offers in line with the online players, they fell short of attractive deals that a consumer could grab in the online space and were still dealing with leftover inventory from previous quarters. Consumer enquiries and footfall were relatively slow at the retail counters through September, compared to the previous years,” the firm stated.
Chinese mobile phone makers dominate the Indian smart phone landscape – four out of the top five vendors are currently Chinese. Xiaomi, IDC reported, recorded its highest ever smart phone shipments in a quarter with 12.6 million units, growing at 8.5 per cent Y-o-Y. The Redmi 7A and Redmi Note 7 Pro were the highest shipped models in the overall smart phone market.
Vivo grew 58.7 per cent on the back of its affordable Y series (Y12, Y91/i); Realme’s shipments jumped too, driven by its C2 model and its newly launched 5 and 3i series; OPPO rocketed 92.3 per cent. “It’s A5s was the fifth-highest shipped model in the overall smart phone market. Moreover, OPPO became the second largest vendor in the fast-growing US300-500 segment on the back of its newly launched Reno 2 series. Its online exclusive K series was not able to find traction due to heavy competition by Xiaomi and Realme in that segment,” IDC noted.
Samsung is the only non-Chinese phone maker in the top five. The company’s phone shipments, however, declined because of “the lag between older Galaxy A series (Galaxy A10, 50, etc.) and the refreshed Galaxy As (Galaxy A10s, A50s etc) series just before the Diwali quarter”.