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Xiaomi, Huawei Drive Online Smartphone Shipments in Jan-Mar

Chinese handset manufacturers Xiaomi and Huawei drove the majority of smartphone shipments on online platforms during the fist quarter of calendar year 2018, with both the companies accounting for almost half of the shipments on e-commerce portals.

According to Counterpoint Research, exclusive smartphones from Xiaomi and Huawei (Honor) majorly drove online shipments with handsets from both the companies accounting for all the top 5 smartphones during Q1 CY2018. Huawei’s Honor 9 Lite was the only model in the top 5 slowing down Xiaomi’s full dominance.

While Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A accounted for 23% of online shipments during Q1 CY 2018, its other models — Redmi Note 5 and Redmi 4 — captured 7% and 6% share respectively. Honor 9 Lite accounted for 6% of all the online shipments.

Another major development during the first quarter was that e-commerce channels captured a record 38% share of the total smartphone channels, driven by exclusive online launches and strong promotions during the latter part of the quarter, Counterpoint pointed out.

Xiaomi-led online platforms accounted for 57% of the share during Q1 2018, followed by Samsung at 14% and Huawei Honor (8%). Elaborating on the online shipment dynamics, Counterpoint’s Research Analyst, Karn Chauhan said that while smartphone shipments in offline segment declined by 3%, online segment grew by 4% y-o-y.

“This is driven by increase in the number of models launching on online platforms coupled with aggressive offers. Additionally, smartphone brands have now adopted a multichannel strategy instead of relying on a single channel for distribution of their products and this has increased the competition over the past few quarters,” he explained.

Among online platforms, Flipkart was the market leader followed by AmazonIndia and Xiaomi’s online store, Mi.com. While Flipkart accounted for 54% of all the online shipments, Amazon captured 30% of the market and Xiaomi 14%. Counterpoint Research Director Tarun Pathak said although India still has one of the lowest percentage of users who are connected to the internet and shop online, but this trend is changing rapidly as 4G data consumption has increased and more users beyond metro cities are geared up to browse and shop online.

“Hence, in an effort to target first time shoppers, both Flipkart and Amazon have scaled up their operations in recent quarters, especially in the smartphone segment which is a major value driving category for these platforms,” Pathak added. Close to 30 exclusive smartphone models were launched in Q1 2018. – Financial Express

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