What happened: Chinese smartphone makers controlled a record 66% of the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019, according to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research. The volumes for Chinese brands rose 20% year on year backed by growth from Vivo, Oppo, and Realme. Shipment volumes for Vivo jumped 119%, while Oppo rose 28%. Xiaomi led the market with a record 29% share, though its shipments declined by 2% compared to the same period last year. In the meanwhile, the overall Indian smartphone shipments grew 4% year on year.
Why it’s important: As the market slows in China, India has become a battlefield for Chinese smartphone makers seeking growth. India represents significant opportunity, with its population of 1.3 billion and a relatively low smartphone penetration rate of 36% in 2018, which is expected to reach 60% by 2022. Xiaomi unseated Samsung from the top spot in India’s smartphone market last year, and Chinese makers including Vivo, Oppo, and Transsion occupied four of the top five smartphone brand spots. Collectively, Chinese smartphone manufacturers controlled more than half of the market in the first quarter.