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Samsung becomes second-largest smartphone brand in India

Samsung has gained big times amid anti-China sentiment over border row with India making it the second-largest smartphone brand in the country due to fluctuations in the supply for some major Chinese brands. The South Korean technology company now holds a 26 per cent market share in India in the smartphone segment, as per the second quarter (April-June period) sale results, a Counterpoint Research report said. Samsung reached its highest share in the past two years owing to the fact that pent-up smartphone demand after lockdown pushed the June volumes and the company was ready with full manufacturing capacity to meet that demand.

Xiaomi maintained top position but what worked for Samsung

Samsung closely followed Xiaomi which logged 29 per cent market share to remain at the top in Q2 2020. Revamping the M-series and launching it in offline channels together with new schemes like Samsung Care+ helped the brand to further restore its position in the Indian market, according to Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor Service’.

Samsung also has a diversified supply chain compared to its competitors, which helped it to maintain a steady flow of components. It was the first brand to reach almost full manufacturing capacity by the end of June, the report mentioned.

Vivo stays at 3rd spot

Vivo with 17 per cent share at third spot was able to manage post lockdown demand well as it exited the quarter with 60 per cent pre-Covid levels. The launch of flagship V19 and adding more smartphones like Y50, Y30 to its Y-series portfolio helped the brand to recover fast in June.

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Realme grabbed 4th position

Realme maintained the fourth spot though its share declined to 11 per cent as it faced manufacturing constraints due to the shutdown of the factory for almost all of May.

Contribution of Chinese brands falls

“The contribution of Chinese brands fell to 72 per cent from 81 per cent in Q2 2020. This was mainly due to the mixture of stuttering supply for some major Chinese brands such as OPPO, Vivo and realme, and growing anti-China sentiment,” said Shilpi Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

It was compounded by stringent actions taken by the government to ban 59 apps of Chinese origin and delay the import of goods from China amid extra scrutiny. Overall, the smartphone market declined a massive 51 per cent (year-on-year) to just over 18 million in Q2 as April was a washout.

Zero shipment in April

The nationwide lockdown resulted in zero shipments during April. “The pandemic wiped out almost 40 days of production as well as the sales of smartphones due to the nation-wide lockdown. The quarter was marred by both demand and supply constraints which led OEMs to rethink their go-to-market strategies,” said Prachir Singh, Senior Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Situation improved in June

In June, the smartphone shipments registered a mild decline of 0.3 per cent (YoY) thanks to the pent-up demand as well as a push from brands.

“Local manufacturing, R&D operations, attractive value-for-money offerings and strong channel entrenchment by Chinese brands leaves very few options for consumers to choose from. Additionally, in the era of globalization, it is difficult to label a product based on country of origin as components are being sourced from many different countries,” said Jain.

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(With inputs from IANS)

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