Chinese smartphone manufacturers are edging out competitors in India: report

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Chinese smartphone manufacturers continued to see explosive growth in India during the second quarter, edging out international competitors as they battle for market share in the world’s second-most populated country, according to data from research firm Canalys.

Why it matters: Chinese smartphone makers are looking abroad to boost sales while shipments in their home market slow as a result of high rates of smartphone penetration and a slowing economy.

  • Smartphone shipments were down 6% year on year in China during the first half of 2019, according to CINNO Research.
  • Shipments hit a five-year low in 2018, falling 14% compared to the previous year.

Details: Four of the top five most popular smartphone brands in India are Chinese. Xiaomi takes the top spot, controlling nearly a third of the Indian market, up 4% year on year, according to the Canalys report released on Monday.

  • Vivo increased its market share to 18% from 11% a year ago. The company sold a total of 5.8 million phones in Q2, up 60%.
  • Realme, an Oppo sub-brand, saw its deliveries increase by 2 million units, up 60% compared to the same period last year.
  • Meanwhile, South Korean smartphone giant Samsung’s market share shrank by more than a quarter, according to Canalys. Shipments were down by 2.6 million compared to a year ago.

“[Vivo’s] current trajectory would see it displace Samsung by the end of 2019, dealing a major blow to the Korean vendor.

⁠—Jin Shengtao, Canalys analyst

Context: Chinese smartphone makers are increasingly relying on international sales in order to offset stalling shipments in China, the world’s largest smartphone market.

  • In the first quarter, markets outside China accounted for almost 40% of Xiaomi’s total revenue.
  • Chinese smartphone makers are diversifying outside of their core offerings to weather the slowdown. Xiaomi has invested heavily in a smart home ecosystem.
  • Vivo last year followed suit, launching Jovi IoT.