Samsung Topples Xiaomi to Regain Number One Position in India in Q2 2018

Top five brands captured 82% of the total smartphone market; OnePlus (284%), Honor (188%) and Xiaomi (112%) were the fastest growing smartphone brands annually.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires –

July 24th, 2018

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, the India smartphone market returned to double digit growth (18%) YoY after flat first quarter growth. The feature phone market continues to outpace the smartphone market with a YoY growth of 21%.

Commenting on the findings, Anshika Jain, Research Analyst stated, “India’s smartphone market returned to double digit growth during the quarter and is likely to grow in double digits for the entire year. Growth during the quarter was driven by new launches and strong promotions across both online and offline channels. Smartphone brands leveraged the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season, as they timed their new launches and campaigns around the same with a slew of offers across multiple channels”

Commenting further Ms. Jain noted, “As volume-share of the top five players combined exceeded 80%, local and smaller players were forced to change their strategies, which involved changing channels and product strategy along with cutting the number of SKUs. Additionally, the increase in duties for handset components announced during the beginning of the quarter, forced smaller players to delay product launches as they didn’t have the necessary operations to save on the increased tariffs for certain components, like populated printed circuit boards, mechanics and others”

Commenting on the brand performance, Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst stated, “Samsung has regained the leading position after ceding it to Xiaomi two quarters ago. The success of Samsung during the quarter can be attributed to its refreshed J-series; it launched more models than any other brand, across multiple price points, during the quarter. These new launches brought some of the most popular and sought-after features like, dual camera, infinity display, and facial unlock to different price segments for Samsung for the first time ever. Additionally, the strong offline distribution and aggressive marketing campaign around its J-series helped Samsung to gain not only market share but also mind share, during the quarter. 2H 2018 is likely to be a close race between Samsung and Xiaomi — especially during the upcoming festive season”.

Exhibit 1: India Smartphone Market Share – Q2 2018

India Smartphone shipment market share Q2 2018 Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q2 2018

Note: *OPPO includes Realme

Exhibit 2: India Featurephone Market Share – Q2 2018

India Featurephone Shipment Market Share Q2 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q2 2018

Market Summary:

  • Smartphone segment contributed to half of the total handset market during Q2 2018.
  • Top five brands captured a record 82% share of the total smartphone market during the quarter
  • Reliance Jio captured almost half of the total feature phone market driven by the success of its Jiophone, its highest ever.
  • Reliance Jio is likely to maintain the growth momentum as it refreshed its Jiophone, coupled with an aggressive upgrade offer of INR 501 (<US$10) and bringing popular apps including WhatsApp to Jiophone 2.
  • In the smartphone segment, Samsung regained its lead in Q2 2018 with 29% market share thanks to strong performance of models such as Galaxy J6, Galaxy J2 2018 and Galaxy J4 focusing on the budget segment.
  • Xiaomi recorded its highest ever shipments in India during Q2 2018. The growth can be attributed to its strong product and supply chain strategy that has allowed it to launch products with a longer shelf-life than its competitors and that too in the important sub INR 10000 (<US$150) segment. Recently, its share in the offline channel has increased as it pivots to a multi-channel strategy in India.
  • Vivo shipments increased sequentially driven by new launches, celebrity endorsement and aggressive campaign around IPL 2018. Its V9 became its most popular V series smartphone ever.
  • During the quarter OPPO launched its sub-brand Realme in a bid to increase its online presence. Realme which debuted in partnership with Amazon quickly managed to grab 1% share of the total smartphone market due to strong perceived value-for-money, unique industrial design and positive customer feedback for its initial model.
  • OnePlus (284%), Honor (188%) and Xiaomi (112%) were the fastest growing smartphone brands during the quarter. Honor continues to retain its share among top five brands while OnePlus led the premium (>INR30,000) segment for the first time ever.
  • Apple had a slow quarter as it underwent changes in its distribution strategy. Apart from this, its domestic assembling is yet to pick-up pace, which means the Cupertino giant is still relying on imports for its sales in India. Apple had 1% market share during the quarter, its lowest in recent history.
  • Lava is the only local brand that registered positive annual growth during the quarter, driven by entry-level models including its first Android Go device – Z50.
  • Transsion group led by iTel, Tecno, Infinix and Spice continues to grow in the smartphone segment in India. Tecno grew 74% sequentially as it brought full screen and facial unlock features at an entry level price during the quarter.

Top Selling Models:

  • Top five best-selling models captured almost 29% smartphone share during Q2 2018.
  • Three out of the top five models during the quarter were from Xiaomi with Redmi 5A being the best seller during the quarter.
  • Demand for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro remained strong as it continues to out-spec its rivals in similar price bands.
  • Samsung’s new J6 entered the top five rankings within a quarter of the launch. In fact, new launches during the quarter like Galaxy J6, J2 (2018) and J4 series contributed to more than half of Samsung’s total smartphone shipments.
  • Vivo’s Y71 was its best-seller in the mid-segment while its V9 series remained the leader in the $300-$400 segment.
  • OnePlus 6 was the best-selling model in the premium segment, making it the leader for the full quarter, surpassing Samsung and Apple
  • Other models that did well during the quarter were the Realme 1, Honor 9 lite, OPPO F7 and Redmi 5.

Exhibit 3: India Top Five Smartphone Models Market Share – Q2 2018

Top Five Smartphone Models by Market Share

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q2 2018


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The Market Monitor research is based on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendor’s IR results, vendor polling triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.