India is one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world. However, competitively priced smartphones dominate India’s mobile market, making it difficult for Apple’s and its ultra-premium smartphones to make headway in an industry dominated by cheaper rivals. But a new report suggests Apple seems to be making headway in the country.
According to data from Counterpoint Research, the Indian smartphone market recorded a modest 4 percent annual growth in Q1 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic impacted the market towards the end of the quarter. The report noted that Apple saw a strong 78 percent year-on-year growth, which was driven by the shipments of the iPhone 11 series.
Sales of the iPhone 11 were helped by discounts provided by platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. Apple led the way in the ultra-premium segment (smartphones priced at Rs 45,000 and above) with a market share of 55 percent. Apple’s success in the country has also led the company to confirm its first regional Apple Store in Mumbai sometime in 2021.
While Apple maintained a healthy lead in India’s ultra-premium market, Xiaomi recorded a 6 percent YoY growth in Q1 2020 to reach its highest ever market share since the first quarter in 2018. Vivo, on the other hand, also grew by 40 percent YoY in the first quarter in 2020, propelling it ahead of Samsung.
Oppo also recorded 83 percent growth in Q1 2020, while its Chinese counterpart Poco managed to eke out a 2 percent market share, after debuting as an independent brand in March 2020. Realme’s 119 percent YoY growth in the first quarter of 2020 was driven by Realme 5i and Realme C3 sales. It was also the first brand to launch a 5G smartphone in India, in the form of the Realme X50 Pro.
The country’s smartphone shipments grew a 4 percent YoY to reach a little over 31 million units in the first quarter of the year. However, Counterpoint’s report estimates that overall smartphone shipments will decline by 10% for the full calendar year as a result of the on-going Coronavirus crisis.