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India’s smartphone market grew 7.1% YoY in Q1 2019 despite fall in global sales; Xiaomi retained top spot

India’s smartphone market saw 32.1 million units shipped in Q1 2019, registering 7.1% year-on-year (YoY) growth, a report by the International Data Corporation said on Monday. This was despite the global market falling 6% YoY over the same period. The report said despite the government’s new e-commerce rules, online channels managed to sustain their pace and registering 19.6% YoY growth over the same period.

Xiaomi, with 8.1% YoY growth, remained in pole position in Q12019; Samsung was second, having declined 4.8%. Vivo’s shipments doubled YoY in Q1 2019 and the company remained in third position ahead of Oppo, which saw 9.7% YoY growth, and Realme, which began as an online-focussed brand but now sells one in three of its phones offline.

Average selling prices grew by 3.3% YoY to $161, the report said, attributing this to the growth in the$300-US$500 segment, which accounted for 6% of the overall smartphone market in Q1 2019.

“Samsung surpassed Apple for the leadership position in the premium ($500+) segment with an overall share of 36.0% in Q1 2019 due to its newly launched Galaxy S10 flagship series that was supported by huge marketing campaigns. OnePlus followed, as its OnePlus 6T was the top-selling model in India’s $500+ smartphone segment,” Upasana Joshi, associate research manager, client devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

The report said the feature phone market, which still accounts for half of all mobile phone shipments, saw 32.3 million units shipped over the quarter – a sharp decline of 42.4% YoY. There was also a sharp drop in 4G-enabled feature phones, which declined by more than 50% YoY due to channel inventory from previous quarters.

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Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India, said in 2019, online-heavy vendors were expected to continue their offline expansion to increase their footprint in smaller cities and towns, but the influence of online channels would continue. “This will gain momentum in the all-important second half of the year since the affordability driving factors like EMIs/cashback offers continue to be top-of-mind attributes for consumers.”

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