The festival season in India brought back the cheer for Chinese smartphone companies facing a recent tough period marred by supply bottlenecks and demands to boycott Chinese goods.
In a significant relief to these brands that still dominate the Indian market, sales of Chinese smartphones increased during the just-concluded festival season compared to last year.
Many clients shun Chinese goods due to geopolitical tensions between India and China. In the September quarter, this led South Korea’s Samsung to overtake China’s Xiaomi to become the top smartphone brand in India. The combined market share of India’s four big Chinese smartphone brands slid from 73 percent in the March quarter to 66 percent in the June quarter. According to Counterpoint Analysis, it dropped further to 64 percent in the September quarter.
In October and November, China’s Realme sold 8.3 million goods, including 6.3 million smartphones. This was 20 percent higher than the festive season sales last year. Sales jumped about 25 percent this October festive season compared to last year, another Chinese smartphone brand, Vivo, said.
According to Counterpoint Research and another CMR market research company, Xiaomi, which lost its leadership role in the September quarter, sold 9 million smartphones through both online and offline channels during the festive season. Sales this year were 15-20% higher than last year, Xiaomi said.
We are delighted to share that during this festive season, Mi India recorded its highest-ever sales. In Q4, we look forward to higher demand and are gearing up to finish the year on a high note,’ said Raghu Reddy, chief business officer, Mi India, in a statement.
Due to competitive prices, user interface, and customer interaction, Chinese brands continue to enjoy a large fan base despite dropping market share. Due to their greater interaction with customers and high-quality goods, Chinese brands OnePlus and Realme were ranked higher than Apple and Samsung in the holistic smartphone brand quality index, according to a 30 October report by technology market research firm techARC.
Experts are, meanwhile, keeping their fingers crossed in the December quarter about any big change in market share.
What we are seeing is trading from an inventory clearing perspective. It is not an indicator at all that in the December quarter the market share of Chinese brands will go up or down. Diwali was also much later this time and online sales on both Amazon. and Flipkart.com also lasted longer than they did last year said Canalys research director Rushabh Doshi.
Since Diwali was late this year, experts said, there were festive shipments through October and November. Also while Samsung phones were in high demand, the high sales scores of July and August may have been difficult to maintain as Chinese brands worked to resolve previous supply shortages caused by the keeping of components at ports and inadequate production capacity.
The festive season sales were skipped by Micromax, which is planning a comeback with a smartphone in the budget and mid-segment at the end of November to capitalize on the government’s self-reliant India drive.