Chinese Smartphone Brands Make Strong Inroads In India

Chinese smartphone vendors are rapidly expanding their wings in the Indian smartphone market, making the way tough for the established brands such as Samsung, Micromax and Intex. Oppo, Vivo and Gionee, together gained significant market share in the April-June quarter at the cost of incumbents on back of an aggressive retail and marketing strategy, the Counterpoint Technology Market Research states.

Apart from these three major brands, the Chinese smartphone brands, including Lenovo, expanded their share to 27 percent of the total smartphone market in the quarter ended June from 21 percent in the preceding three months. In contrast, Samsung’s share fell to 25.6 percent during the quarter ended June from 29 percent in January-March. Micromax’s share slipped to 14.1 percent from 17 percent, while Intex had 8.5 percent share compared with 10 percent, according the research.

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While Samsung shipped more units in absolute numbers, its share narrowed because its growth rate slowed compared to the Chinese brands, said Tarun Pathak, senior telecom analyst at Counterpoint Research. “Oppo, Vivo and Gionee are now strong in the entry-to-Rs 20,000 segment, which impacted other brands,” TOI report quoted Pathak as saying.

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Retailers said Oppo, Vivo and Gionee have long-term plans for India. “They are now making investments on product service and the product price is cheaper for the consumer on a like-to-like basis than the mainstream brands without any compromise on quality,” said a spokesperson of the All India Mobile Retailers Association, a body of 30,000 neighborhood mobile phone stores.

The Chinese players are bringing in phones that offer high-end features at affordable prices and attracting more users, said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner India.

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