Smartphone shipments in the country declined marginally in the September 2018 quarter, totalling 40.4 million units as against 40.8 million units in the year-ago period, according to a report by Canalys. In its report, Canalys said Xiaomi occupied the pole position for the fourth quarter in a row with shipment of over 12 million units in July-September 2018 quarter. It had 29.8% market share, followed by Samsung (23%), Vivo (11.1%), Oppo (8.8%) and Micromax (6.3%).
“Despite strong performances by many vendors, the total smartphone market in India declined by 1% year on year to 40.4 million units, primarily due to a late Diwali in Q4, which effectively slowed shipments in Q3,” the report added.
While Canalys claims that the shipments fell marginally, a recent report by Counterpoint had stated that smartphone shipments in India during the third quarter had grown by 5% to 44 million units.
The Canalys report said Micromax’s “surprise re-entry” into the top five, with 2.6 million shipments in the third quarter, was strongly helped by a government order from Chhattisgarh state.
“While Micromax is not likely to displace Xiaomi, or even Oppo and Vivo in India in the near future, its return marks a shift in the strategies of local vendors. Should more governments follow in Chhattisgarh’s footsteps, local vendors will find themselves relevant again, especially in increasing the crucial total available market for Indian smartphones,” Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen said.
Canalys Research Manager Rushabh Doshi said the rising value of the US dollar is the number one concern for smartphone vendors.
“The US dollar has risen from an average of Rs 68 in July to Rs 74 in October 2018, marking a 5-10% increase in the cost of components typically bought in US dollars,” Doshi said to PTI.
He added that both the Chinese yuan and Indian rupee continue to slide against the dollar, directly affecting material costs.
“For Chinese vendors that operate on razor-thin margins, price corrections are well in order, and these price hikes will hurt growth in India, among other markets. While larger vendors will persist, by hedging against currency fluctuations, smaller vendors will struggle to maintain a price-competitive strategy,” Doshi said.