A handful of smartphone models are increasingly consolidating the robust domestic market.
More than 500 new models are launched in the domestic smartphone market every year, but according to the latest data, 10 of these have cornered 35 per cent of the market.
Data from Counterpoint Research shows that in the January-March quarter of 2019, three of the top 10 models were from market leader Xiaomi. Redmi 6A from the Chinese firm was the most-shipped model, while Redmi Note 6 Pro and Redmi Y2 held the second and third spots, respectively. Thirty million handsets are shipped quarterly.
Samsung’s newly launched Galaxy M20 and A50 were at the fourth and fifth spots. The two handset series (M and A) contributed to 60 per cent of Samsung’s total smartphone shipments during the quarter.
Of the top 10, eight models belonged to three smartphone makers. Realme 3, the newly introduced brand from Oppo, was also on the list as were Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro, launched this quarter.
Analysts said a go-to-market approach by key players in recent quarters was a key factor behind this trend.
Chinese players Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo entered the market at a time when flooding it with tens of smartphone models the norm. “This led to one model from the same maker killing another model and confusing the buyes,” said Faisal Kawoosa, lead analysts, TechArc. “These entrants set a new rule.”
Xiaomi and others deviated from the rule and focused on a few models, usually two or three. They targeted each price point and yielded rich dividends. At present, four of the top five players are Chinese.
B Muralikrishnan, chief operating officer, Xiaomi India, its success, like earlier, has been a result of its focused approach and the small yet relevant product range that it offers.
Samsung was the market leader two months back; but Xiaomi raced ahead with the focused approach. Samsung is now focusing on the mid-range Galaxy M and A series — for offline and online channels, respectively.
Ranjivjit Singh, chief marketing officer, Samsung India, said the two series with less than 10 models have boosted its sales by over a half. Samsung Senior Vice-President Asim Warsi said consumer-centric innovations were brought into the two ranges helping the Korean company improve market presence.
Changing strategies have helped consolidate the market.
More than 200 smartphone operate here, but the top five brands — Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo and Realme — dominate over 80 per cent of the market, data from International Data Corporation shows.
This means the smaller players have only a 20 per cent share in the market. Last year they had 30.5 per cent and 35 per cent in January-March 2016.
But not all is over for the smaller players, said market veterans. The current situation might be a repetition of the trend in early 2010s when Nokia dominated 70 per cent of the market.