Counterpoint Research is out with its Market Monitor report for the Indian mobile market for both the full year and Q4 2018. As per its findings, Xiaomi once again led the smartphone market in the country, but it was Reliance Jio (with its Jio Phone and Jio Phone 2) that lead both the feature phone market and the overall handset market in India. The country's mobile phone shipments grew 11 percent year-on-year, while smartphone shipments grew 10 percent year-on-year. The report adds that India was the fastest growing smartphone market in 2018, with an annual growth rate of 10 percent.
The report by Counterpoint noted that overall India mobile phone shipments crossed 330 million units for the first time ever in 2018, but smartphones constituted just 44 percent of the total volume. Feature phones also grew faster than smartphones during the year for the first time ever, driven by the Jio Phone.
As we mentioned, Counterpoint Research notes Reliance Jio became the overall market leader across all handset types in 2018 with a market share of 21 percent.
"India remains the largest market in terms of global feature phone volume. India and Middle East are driving the feature phone market, capturing almost 3/4th of global feature phone sales in 2018," said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.
"Reliance Jio captured 38 percent of the feature phone segment in just over a year with its compelling value proposition compared to normal 2G feature phones," he added. "Additionally, the Jio 'Monsoon Hungama' offer focusing on upgrading 2G feature phone users, helped it to drive sales during the second half of 2018," Pathak added.
Getting back to smartphone shipments, Counterpoint notes that for the full year, Xiaomi had a 28 percent share of the market, while Samsung had a 24 percent share, Vivo had a 10 percent share, Oppo had an 8 percent share, Micromax had a 5 percent share, with other brands accounting for 25 percent. As for Q4 2018, Xiaomi once again led the pack with a 27 percent share of smartphone shipments, while Samsung came second with a 22 percent share, Vivo came third with a 9 percent share, Realme made an entry at fourth with a 8 percent share, Oppo came fifth with a 7 percent share, and all other manufacturers accounted for 27 percent of the market.
Commenting on the competitive landscape, Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, "The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the last year. We saw key players gaining share while smaller brands exited the market as competition intensified. However, this doesn't mean there is no room for new players. Realme, which started operations in Q2 2018, entered the top five brands in 4Q 2018, reaching more than 4 million users faster than any other brand. Going forward, we expect brands to consolidate their positions by driving multi-channel and aggressive product strategies in a bid to target users beyond Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities."
As for feature phone shipments, for the full year, Counterpoint notes that Jio had a 38 percent market share, while Samsung had a 12 percent share, Itel had a 8 percent share, Nokia (HMD Global) had a 7 percent share, while Lava had a 7 percent share as well, with the rest accounting for 28 percent of feature phone shipments across the year. In Q4 2018, Counterpoint notes Jio had a 38 percent share, Samsung had a 14 percent share, Lava had a 9 percent share, Itel had an 8 percent share, while Nokia (HMD Global) had a 6 percent share, with the rest accounting for 25 percent of the market.
Other interesting observations made in the Counterpoint Research Market Monitor 2018 report include a comment on revenue - as per the market research firm, overall market revenue grew 19 percent during the year, with Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Apple being the leaders in terms of revenue. The report also notes that despite losing the number one spot, Samsung grew faster than the overall smartphone market. Xiaomi recorded its highest ever shipments in India during the year, something that can be attributed to its "strong product portfolio and aggressive channel strategy." The top five smartphone manufacturers didn't change all year, except for the fourth quarter, when Realme surpassed Oppo.
Counterpoint also claimed that Chinese brands in 2018 recorded their strongest ever annual performance, capturing a record 60 percent of the smartphone market compared to 54 percent in 2017. Tecno was said to be the fastest growing brand of 2018, growing by 221 percent - this is attributed to its expansion of its offline reach. Honor (183 percent), Infinix (143 percent), Nokia (138 percent), and Asus (76 percent) were the next fastest growing smartphone brands this year. OnePlus was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand, growing 58 percent year-on-year.
Online share smartphone shipments also reached a record 36 percent, the reported added. Finally, Counterpoint notes that the Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 segment was the fastest growing segment with a 53 percent growth rate, driven by Vivo, Oppo, and Samsung. In comparison, the Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 segment was the fastest growing, with a 52 percent growth rate.
Written with inputs from IANS