However, high channel inventory from the fourth quarter of 2018 resulted in a sequential decline of 8.4%. [Another research firm, Canalys, reported somewhat different figures, with shipments put at 30.1 million units, an increase of less than 2%.]
“Despite the government’s new e-commerce rules, online channels managed to sustain their pace, registering 19.6% year-on-year growth in 1Q2019," said Upasana Joshi, associate research manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
"Fuelled by attractive offers and new launches by vendors like Xiaomi, Samsung, Realme, and Huawei, online sales reached 40.2% of the market in 1Q2019.”
IDC said average selling prices increased by 3.3% year-on-year to US$161, adding that this could be attributed to growth in the US$300 to US$500 segment, which accounted for 6% of the overall smartphone market in 1Q2019. This segment also did better than all other price bands due to the release of the vivo V15 Pro.
Joshi said: “Samsung surpassed Apple for the leadership position in the premium (US$500+) segment with an overall share of 36.0% in 1Q2019 due to its newly launched Galaxy S10 flagship series that was supported by huge marketing campaigns. OnePlus followed, as its OnePlus 6T was the top-selling model in India’s US$500+ smartphone segment in 1Q2019."
IDC said the feature phone market, which accounts for half the total mobile phone shipments, registered 32.3 million-unit shipments in 1Q2019, a sharp decline of 42.4% year-on-year. A sharp drop was seen in 4G-enabled feature phones, which declined by more than 50% year-on-year due to channel inventory from previous quarters. A sequential dip in 2G/2.5G feature phones was also witnessed.
Top five brand highlights:
- Xiaomi maintained its leadership position, growing by 8.1% year-on-year in 1Q2019. The brand had multiple new launches: the Redmi Note 7 series along with Redmi Go. Xiaomi also continued to dominate the online channel with 48.6% share in 1Q2019.
- Samsung retained second position with a year-on-year decline of 4.8%. The South Korean firm revamped its product strategy by launching its online-exclusive M-series - which raised its online share to 13.5% on the back of the Galaxy M20 - and its offline-exclusive A-series to keep Chinese vendors at bay.
- vivo kept its third position as its shipments doubled year-on-year in 1Q2019, driven primarily by its new flagship V15 Pro and affordable Y91.
- OPPO recaptured the fourth position with year-on-year growth of 9.7% in 1Q2019, backed by new models such as the K1 - the first online-exclusive model for India - and the F11/Pro series, as well as its ongoing affordable A-series.
- Realme dropped to the fifth position in 1Q2019 with the newly launched realme 3 series showing its highest shipments.
Graphic: courtesy IDC