India’s smartphone market is dominated by budget to mid-range Android handsets and is highly competitive, though Xiaomi’s 30.6% market share in Q1 2020 is notable.
Vivo’s sales reportedly rose by an amazing 50% to leave Samsung, the world’s overall largest phone manufacturer, down in third place with a market drop of 14%. But despite the growth, Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary said:
“Vivo’s victory is bitter-sweet. The high sell-in this quarter was mainly due to planned stockpiles ahead of the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the unplanned lockdown at the end of March has disrupted the vendor’s plans. With IPL postponed, and much of its inventory in offline channels locked out, Vivo will struggle to see a quick sell-through when the lockdown lifts.”
Realme and Oppo took the fourth and fifth spots in the sales figures.
Indian smartphone buying grew from the fact many people first experienced online life via 3G and 4G phones rather than computers an broadband. The growth of cellular sites has been faster than fixed line, resulting in a hyper-competitive marketplace where many upgrade their handsets more than once a year.
This has meant that Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Vivo have moved in and dominated the market by being able to scale their distribution of well-performing Android phones that cost less than the flagship devices more popular in the UK and Europe.
But the unprecedented coronavirus lockdown that has affected India tremendously will harm smartphone sales. The report states that overall sales will “plunge in Q2 2020, as the lockdown remains in force up to May 3rd and vendors grapple with both supply- and demand-side issues in the immediate future.”
Henry is Tech Advisor’s Phones Editor, ensuring he and the team covers and reviews every smartphone worth knowing about for readers and viewers all over the world. He spends a lot of time moving between different handsets and shouting at WhatsApp to support multiple devices at once.