Counterpoint Research published its findings in which it estimates that India has surpassed the U.S. to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world behind China, noting that 158 million units were shipped to the country in 2019 with seven percent year-over-year growth. Analysts believe that this could largely be attributed to the expansion of Chinese manufacturers offering aggressively priced phones coupled with their promotional strategies.
According to the research, 72% of the phones shipped in India were manufactured by Chinese manufacturers namely Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo. These companies increased their market share in the country substantially. India has become the biggest market for Xiaomi ahead of its home market, China, thanks to the strong performance of its Redmi Note series and surge in offline channels. Xiaomi grew five percent overall in 2019 since it is already "serving a much larger installed base in India."
Realme grew a whopping 255% in 2019 and similarly, the growth of Vivo over the year is estimated to be 76%. However, South Korea-based Samsung had almost the same number of smartphone shipments as compared to the previous year, declining an overall five percent in 2019. Apple saw one of the fastest-growths in Q4 2019 owing to iPhone XR price cuts and the introduction of the iPhone 11 series.
India's surpassing the U.S. in smartphone shipments could be attributed to its population and an emerging market where a larger number of people can buy smartphones. This has significantly impacted smartphone makers who now design phones keeping India and other growing economies in mind.