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Vivo pips Samsung to become India’s second-largest smartphone maker in Q4 2019

A year after Xiaomi has displaced Samsung to be the top smartphone brand in India, yet another Chinese brand is steadily growing to take over the Korean giant.

For the first time, Vivo has replaced Samsung as the second-largest smartphone vendor in the country with mammoth 96.5 per cent year-on-year growth during the festive quarters of October-December in 2019, finds International Data Corporation (IDC) in its quarterly tracker. While Vivo has shipped 6.9 million units, Samsung’s shipments stood at 5.7 million units in Q4, falling from 6.8 million a year ago. In terms of market share, the BBK Electronics-owned brand has garnered a market share of 18.8 per cent while Samsung follows closely at 15.5 per cent.

For the full calendar year, however, Samsung still holds the second spot even though its shipment volumes fell by 2.8 per cent year-on-year while the other top five brands continued their northward journey.

Vivo’s aggressive focus on offline market and price cuts on several models helped it gradually deplete Samsung’s lead over the past few quarters. IDC also notes that Vivo continued to lead the market with 28 percent share in 2019 In the mid-premium ($300-500) segment, followed by OnePlus at 20.2 per cent share, while in the premium ($500 and above) segment, Apple surpassed Samsung for the leadership position with a market share of 47.4 percent in 2019.

Market leader Xiaomi has retained its top position registering annual shipments of 43.6 million units in 2019 — the highest ever smartphone shipments made by any brand in a year — and with a growth of 9.2 per cent. It also continued to dominate in the fourth quarter with 15.9 per cent growth on the back of newly launched Redmi Note 8 Pro series.

Among others, Oppo grew 88.4 per cent on the back of its affordable A series and launch of Reno 2 series, while Realme slipped to the fifth position during the fourth quarter. Still, the two-year-old Realme remains the fastest-growing brand in 2019 having managed to ship 16.2 million units, a jump from a meagre 4.4 million units in 2018.

Total shipment, which includes both smartphones and feature phones, was at 282.9 million units in 2019, down 12.3 per cent on year due to the roll out of fewer 4G-ready feature phones. Smartphones shipments, meanwhile, rose a modest 8 per cent to 152.5 million smartphones in 2019.

“The smartphone market will see modest single-digit growth in 2020 as well,” said Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices, IDC India. “As organic growth becomes challenging with increasing replacement cycles, it is imperative for the smartphone ecosystem to put its energy and focus on enabling migration of the massive feature phone user base in India in addition to continue offering compelling propositions at the mid-premium segment to boost faster upgrades,” he added.