India is among the few smartphone markets that are still registering growth, as most developed markets are seeing a slowdown in smartphone shipments due to saturation. According to IDC’s annual data of 2019, India saw a total of 152.5 million phones being shipped through the year, which marks an 8 percent annual growth over what was shipped in 2018. While India no longer remains in double digit growth phase, industry watchers and companies will still take note of the key growth areas that are still contributing to smartphone shipments growing in the country.
IDC’s data further states that the share of online smartphone shipments are steadily on the rise in India. Upasana Joshi, associate research manager at IDC India states on this matter, “The online growth momentum continued through the year with a record share of 41.7% in 2019, growing by 18.4% YoY annually due to deep discounts, cashback offers, buyback/exchange schemes, and complete protection offers clubbed with attractive financing schemes like No Cost EMIs across major model line ups and brands.” In contrast, the offline smartphone market grew only 1.6 percent in India, through the year.
In terms of price distribution in India, IDC states that the sub-$200 (~sub-Rs 15,000) smartphone market in India accounted for 79 percent of the market. The mid-range market, which roughly stands for between Rs 15,000 and Rs 35,000, captured 19.3 percent of the market, while the remaining sliver of 1.7 percent was captured by premium devices. In the latter, IDC notes that Apple crossed Samsung to capture 47.4 percent of the premium smartphone market in India, thanks to the iPhone XR and a lower priced launch of the iPhone 11.
In the premium end of the mid-range phones, IDC states that Vivo led the charts with 28 percent market share, largely thanks to the Vivo V15 Pro. Vivo was closely followed by OnePlus in this segment, thanks to the OnePlus 7. With 5G on the horizon and more interesting form factor smartphones on the way, it remains to be seen how the Indian market fares through 2020 and beyond.