While the top five smartphone brands currently enjoy a market share exceeding 75 percent in India, whatever is left is now being shared by over 88 smartphone brands — leaving a mere 0.3 percent market share for each player. Players like Panasonic and Videocon are among those 88 smartphone brands sharing the revenue of nearly Rs 43,560 crore — or Rs 475 crore revenue per brand (on average).
On the other hand, Samsung alone posted sales of over Rs 37,000 crore for its mobile phone business in India in the financial year 2018, followed by arch rival Xiaomi at nearly Rs 23,000 crore.
Oppo Mobiles registered nearly Rs 12,000 crore in revenue while Vivo crossed Rs 11,000 crore in the FY 2018.
The big question is: How many of these 88 brands will be able to survive the hyper-competitive and highly price-conscious Indian market?
“As a result of the increased consolidation among the top five smartphone brands, the available potential sphere of play for other smartphone players has significantly decreased,” said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG) at the market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).
Over the past two years, feature phone to smartphones upgrade has not picked up as anticipated.
“This was primarily due to the spike in refurbished phones/second hand phone market, along with the rapid uptake of 4G feature phones. Coupled with this, the lack of smartphone offerings providing optimal experience under sub-Rs. 6,000, is also affecting the upgrades,” Ram told IANS.
Amid massive investment in retail stores, hiring more staff and increasing ad spends as users are spoilt for choices, the pinch would soon affect many of those 88 vendors sooner than later, and most will either shut shops or enter newer businesses.
However, for Chinese brands with deep pockets and a stagnating market back home, India would continue to remain a attractive bet.
“They can afford to bleed, and any profit would be welcome. We believe they would continue to fight in the market,” said Swati Kalia, an analyst at IIG, CMR.
The smartphone market in India grew 14.5 percent in 2018 with the highest-ever shipments of 142.3 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Xiaomi with 28.9 market share shipped 41.1 million units while Samsung with 22.4 per cent market share shipped 31.9 million in FY 2018.
Vivo shipped 14.2 million units with 10 per cent market share while OPPO shipped 10.2 million units and captured 7.2 percent market share.
In such a scenario, the road ahead only gets tougher for the rest of the players.
“For large consumer-durable conglomerates, including the likes of Panasonic and Videocon, it makes more sense to look at broader synergies available from new blue sky opportunities such as Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home,” noted Amit Sharma, another Analyst at IIG, CMR