Apple’s iPhone sales grew a strong 78% YoY as India’s smartphone shipments grew a modest 4% YoY to reach a little over 31 Million units in Q1 2020, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. January and February shipments grew annually due to new launches and aggressive promotions. However, a steep annual decline in March (-19%) due to COVID-19 outbreak restricted overall quarter growth to just 4%. The nationwide lockdown was enforced by the Indian government from the last week of March and will remain in place until May 3rd. Any signs of recovery will likely only start from the third quarter onwards. As a result, Counterpoint estimates that overall smartphone shipments in India will decline by 10% for the full calendar year.
India Smartphone Market Share Q1 2020
Apple grew a strong 78% YoY driven by strong shipments of iPhone 11 and multiple discounts on platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. In the ultra-premium segment (>INR 45000,~$600 ) it was the leading brand with a market share of 55%.
Xiaomi leads the India smartphone market with a 6% YoY growth in Q1 2020 to reach its highest ever market share since Q1 2018. This was driven by the strong performance of its Redmi Note 8 series. Offline expansion, customer focus, and affordable pricing strategies also helped Xiaomi to expand its consumer base. Xiaomi was also the leading brand in the overall handset market (when feature phones are included) surpassing Samsung.
Vivo grew 40% YoY in Q1 2020 driven by strong performance Y series models. Vivo exited the quarter with low inventory which helps the brand have a good command over its market planning and new launches. However, its flagship V series launch was delayed as a result of COVID-19.
Samsung’s shipments were driven by its upgraded A and M series (A51, A20s, A30s, and M30s). Samsung managed to hold 3rd position in Q1 2020 due to launches across several price tiers, especially in the affordable premium segment (S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite). However, it declined sharply YoY due to an 84% decline in shipments in the sub INR 10K (~$130) segment which was captured by realme, Xiaomi and Vivo.
realme grew 119% YoY in Q1 2020 driven by the newly launched 5i and C3. It was the first brand to launch a 5G-enabled phone in the India market (realme X50 Pro 5G). Offline expansion, strong value propositions and aggressive branding helped realme to achieve this growth.
OPPO shipments grew 83% in Q1 2020, due to demand for its budget segment devices, A5 2020 and A5s, as well as a good performance for the recently launched A31 and A9 2020 in the offline segment.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Apple’s iPhone sales in India has a long way to go, but, post-COVID lockdowns, with Apple Retail Stores coming to India and with strong values like the new iPhone SE, Apple is (finally) heading in the right direction in India!