Mobiles & Tablets

One Chinese company dominates the Indian smartphone market

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 12, 2019

BBK Electronics, which owns different smartphone brands including Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus and Realme, has a 40 per cent market share in India's smartphone market

Chinese smartphone maker BBK Electronics, or Guangzhou Bu Bu Gao Electronics, which sells under different brands including Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus and Realme, has the largest share in the Indian smartphone market. These brands put together now controls over 40 per cent of the smartphone market, compared to just over 20 per cent a year ago.

According to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, BBK Electronics now hold nearly 40 per cent share of the Indian smartphone market, much ahead of another Chinese player Xiaomi’s (27 per cent share) and South Korea’s Samsung (19 per cent share).

While Vivo has 15.2 per cent share, Realme and Oppo have 14.3 and 11.8 per cent respectively. The three brands, which are owned by BBK Electronics, had just above 21 per cent share a year ago.

Strong growth

Vivo registered a strong YoY growth of 58.7 per cent in Q3 FY19 on the back of its affordable Y series (Y12, Y91/i). The newly-launched exclusive online Z/U series accounted for more than 20 per cent of its overall shipments, making Vivo the third-largest online vendor with a market share of 8.2 per cent in 3Q19.

Realme climbed to the fourth position in Q3 FY19, as its shipments grew multi-fold YoY in Q3 FY19 , driven by heavy shipments of its affordable C2 model and its newly launched 5 and 3i series. The vendor's online share was at an all-time high of 26.5 per cent in this quarter, up from 16.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

OPPO slipped to the fifth position in Q3 FY19, but with a YoY growth of 92.3 per cent. Its A5s was the fifth-highest shipped model in the overall smartphone market. Moreover, OPPO became the second largest vendor in the fast-growing US300-500 segment on the back of its newly launched Reno 2 series. Its online exclusive K series phones was not able to find traction, due to heavy competition by Xiaomi and Realme in that segment, according to IDC.

IDC did not give numbers specific to OnePlus, which is the premium brand under the BBK umbrella. Between the four brands, BBK Electronics has a presence across all market segments. Brands like OnePlus has helped remove the earlier perception about Chinese phones being cheap and of poor quality.

The emergence of these brands in India has pushed out Indian brands such as Micromax, Lava and Intex, who were in the list of top five phone makers in the country until a few years ago. They have also impacted global brands such as Samsung.

Betting on India

BBK companies are betting huge on India with massive investments.

Mass brands like Vivo and OPPO are spending huge amounts of money on advertising and creating visibility.

Vivo, for example, bagged title rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) from 2018 to 2022 for Rs 2,199 crore. It plans to invest nearly Rs 3,500 crore more to expand its manufacturing capacity in India.

Similarly, Oppo is expanding the smartphone manufacturing unit in India to double production capacity by 2020.

With India emerging as its biggest market by contributing nearly one-third of its revenues, OnePlus has announced investment of Rs 1,000 crore in a new research and development (R&D) centre in Hyderabad. The company is also expanding its Noida plant to export its current models to the United States and European Union markets from India.

BBK Electronics has been operating in various sections of China’s electronics industry since around the 1990s. It began by manufacturing a range of CD, MP3, and DVD players, along with other household appliances.

In 2004, Duan founded Oppo with CEO Tony Chen. Vivo, was started in 2009, and was founded by Duan and Vivo CEO Shen Wei. OnePlus, the BBK brand was founded by former Oppo Vice President Pete Lau and co-founder Carl Pei in 2013.

Published on November 12, 2019

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