One of the most thriving smartphone markets in the world is now witnessing a slump according to data provided by Cybermedia Research (CMR). The report says over 40 smartphone brands exited India in the year 2018 due to hyper-competition while 15 other brands found the market lucrative and entered the Indian market seeing the potential.
2019 is expected to be no different with brands like Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo eating into a major chunk of the market thanks to more volumes and better marketing
Counterpoint Research data predicts that 15 smartphone players are expected to exit India in 2019, while only five are expected to enter. CMR, on the other hand, sees nine new entrants versus 10 exits in 2019.
As per CMR research estimates, India currently has around 200 smartphone brands operational in the country. At its peak in 2014-15, the mobile phone market comprised over 300 smartphone players.
The sudden drop has happened amid continuing growth in one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets in the world, despite a decline in the global market.
Only last year, prominent Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC had to exit India due to pressure from competitive brands and this led to many wondering which brand could be next. Some of the brands that followed suit were Comio, Acer, DataWind and even LeEco, which has filed for bankruptcy in 2017.
The year 2018 was a tough year for the smaller players in the market and 2019 doesn’t seem to be showing any prospects.
According to Counterpoint Research, in 2018, the Indian smartphone market grew by 10 percent and is expected to grow a further 10 percent this year.
Surprisingly, the global smartphone shipments dropped by almost 4 percent in 2018 with China’s shipments falling 7 percent. According to experts, global smartphone shipments are expected to decline further by around 3 percent in 2019.
Despite a poor show in 2018, some smartphone makers like Realme did manage to make a mark in the India smartphone market. According to a CyberMedia researcher, the Chinese brand and a sub-brand of Oppo was a standout performer in India.
Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco too has had a good run although it did not tap into the budget segment of the market. It rather wanted to pitch itself as a mid-range player.
Subsequently, South Korean tech giant Samsung grabbed 26 percent of the market share leaving the remainder 16 percent to other smaller smartphone players.
One cannot deny the fact that these big players did their homework and also did the hard work of setting up a good infrastructure when the Indian smartphone market was booming. Now, they are reaping the benefits.
Brands like Samsung have been able to offer a mix of products to the Indian consumers while the Xiaomis, Oppos and Vivos have kept the volumes up to meet market demand. In this whole scenario, smaller brands have not been able to commit to consumer demand and in the capitulating to the biggies.―The Quint