The Indian smartphone market showed an 8% growth in the third quarter of 2020, according to a market report by Canalys, a technology market analyst. Of the 50 million units shipped, Chinese vendors managed to hold 76% share, a growth of 2% from last year. All this is despite tensions between the two nations.
“Ongoing tension between India and China has been a hot topic in the past few months, but we have yet to see a significant impact on purchase decisions of mass market customers,” said Varun Kannan, research analyst at Canalys.
Xiaomi dominates the smartphone market with 26.1% market share, an annual growth of 9%, found the research. Followed by Samsung, which reinstated its position after seeing a tough time in the last quarter, three other Chinese brands Vivo, Realme and Oppo have marked their stance on the list.
Vivo stood at third position, growing 19% to a market share of 17.6%, while Realme ended up at a close distance with 17.4% market share. Oppo stood fifth with a 12.1% market share, witnessing a rather slower growth of 6%.
These Chinese vendors are careful on their approach ever since the tension started brewing between India and their native country, added Kannan. “The tensions have caused Chinese smartphone brands to act more conservatively in recent months, reducing their marketing spend, and carefully trying to project the image that they are important contributors to, and stakeholders in, the economic future of India,” the analyst added.
In the earlier report of Q2 2020, Indian smartphone market had shrunk nearly 50% YoY. Canalys had predicted the Indo-China border tension and the public anger to eventually impact the brand equity of Chinese smartphone companies in India. “The combinations of this (public outrage) and the recently announced ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) campaign by the government have pushed Chinese smartphone vendors into the eye of the public storm,” said Adwait Mardikar, another research analyst at Canalys.
Canalys had estimated that more than 96% of all smartphones sold in India in 2019 were manufactured/assembled locally. “Vendors are driving the message of ‘Made in India’ to consumers and are eager to position their brand as ‘India first,” added Mardikar.
The current market share by Chinese smartphone companies in Indian market is slightly lower than the June 2020 quarter’s share, which amounted up to 80% cumulatively.