During the ongoing tensions between India and China, the government of our country decided to ban Chinese apps and products in order to retaliate against the simmering tensions at the border with China. It has been almost 90 days since our government has banned almost 59 Chinese apps in India. The anti-China sentiments have been manifesting across industries since a long time. Despite the geopolitical situation, Smartphone market is the one where China still dominated India and their brands continues to rule our country.
The research director of IDC India said that even if the politics are kept aside for a moment even then what choice does the consumer have because a major portion of the country is engaged in using Chinese smartphones. A survey was done by the IDC during the month of June and July this year to gauge the anti-China sentiment. The results of the survey showed that even though 7 out of 10 consumers asked for a non-Chinese phone but still only 2 ended up buying it.
As the above diagram shows that where the market share is concerned in 2020, the Chinese brands leads the Indian market when it comes to smartphones. Xiaomi holds 26.1%, Samsung holds 20.4%, Vivo claims about 17.6%, Realme and Oppo holds 17.4% and 12.1% respectively. Whereas the remaining market share .i.e. 6.3% is claimed by other brands.
However, the market share of Chinese brands fell from 81% to 72% during the quarter between April-June according to Counterpoint’s Research. But the reason for this decline of market share was not the result of anti-China sentiment. There were various other reasons such as supply-related issues like manufacturing constraints occuring due to labour immigration. For instance, when COVID cases were found in Oppo’s factory, it was shut down for almost 20 days and the components were held up at custom on the basis of country origin.
For the first time, Xiaomi took over Samsung and became the market leader by garnering 25% market share in Q4 of 2017. It hasn’t gone down since then and even Oppo and Vivo increased in market share. In 2017, 37% of the market share was occupied by Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. Since then, these 3 Chinese brands have remained at the top in the market. Even in 2018, the market share held by the brands was over 43%. The number increased to more than half when they garnered over 52% market share in 2019. Moreover, another Chinese brand Realme entered the top 5 smartphones players for the first time. . In case of Xiaomi, the pricing potential of the brand has been aggressive which has worked in favour of it.
Over the past three years, Samsung has unfortunately lost it’s Indian customers to Chinese brands whose devices are perceived to have a better value.
However, the manufacturing power of Samsung has helped it gain group during the pandemic. Chinese smartphone brands have suffered local production delays due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Samsung has launched 7 new smartphones since June 2020 and with reasonable prices. The pandemic caused due to COVID-19 has pushed people to rely on smartphones for almost everything. This includes online education, digital payments or even talking to friends through video calls. Samsung’s strategy was to use social media for sales and marketing, provide new incentive schemes to it’s customers which includes giving students discount on select devices.
This resulted in high demand for Samsung devices and also an increase in the revenue as compared to last year. As per experts, it is also noted that consumers would like to go for the best choice when it comes to spending money from your own pocket and Samsung is currently the only brand which has products across all price tiers.
However, even if the demand of Chinese brands have decreased comparatively, still the government cannot ban the smartphones because most of the population of our country possess Chinese smartphones.