Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may not have found a sizable chunk of the smartphone market in India yet, but the iPhone maker is surely giving sleepless nights to many emerging entrants in the market, i.e Xiaomi. According to the latest IDC report that highlights the scenario of the smartphone market in India between October – December 2015, Apple has leapfrogged Xiaomi with 4.6% share to claim number 6 spot in the top 30 cities of India that make up 51% of the country’s total smartphone market.
India, a highly competitive and a price sensitive smartphone market, is growing leaps and bounds for the last 2 years. Smartphone majors, like Apple and Samsung, are aggressively pursuing the market to downsize arch rivals and new entrants. The efforts have, apparently, started showing signs of success as Apple has strengthened its presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities of India, resulting in 2.6% share of the market.
In Tier-1 cities of India, where people have deep pockets to afford premium smartphones, Lenovo, Apple and Xiaomi have done fairly well during Q4 2015. With 5.8% market share Apple has once again beaten Xiaomi despite, the latter one introducing few smartphones with powerful specs at a jaw-dropping price.
On the other side, Xiaomi that has been focusing on Indian smartphone market for little over than 18 months now, and has also performed the best in Tier-1 cities of India as compared to Top 30 and Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. With 4.5% share in Tier 1 cities, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer secured 7th spot, trailing behind Apple. In overall 30 cities, the company captured 3.5% of smartphone market in Q4 2015. However, the company failed to replicate the similar success in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities of India, mainly due to its online- only sales model and stiff competition from low-priced smartphones from local manufacturers like Intex, Lava and Micromax.
Samsung, Micromax and Lenovo Rule India Smartphone Market
Indeed, the growth of Apple and Xiaomi in top 30 cities of India – account for 51% of the country’s smartphone market – is impressive but, it was the Korean smartphone giant Samsung, homegrown Micromax and another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Lenovo that captured the lion’s share of the Indian smartphone market. The three smartphone giants, together, controlled 54.2% of smartphone market in Q4 2015.
The two other indigenous smartphone manufacturer, Intex and Lava, also presented a commendable show in Q4 2015, by capturing 8.2% and 7.1% of the market, respectively, in the top 30 cities of India. Interestingly, the adoption of Intex in Tier-2 and Tier-3 was even stronger, as its market share increased to 9.1%.
Xiaomi, Lenovo and Micromax Have Got One Thing In Common
In 2015, the ASP (Average Selling Price) of a budget smartphone in India fell down to $160 (Rs. 10,700), and that is why, most of the smartphone manufacturers, especially Xiaomi, Lenovo and Micromax, remained focused on the budget phone segment. According to a CMR report, smartphone industry in India is expected to grow by 37% in 2016 and would be driven by sub-$200 segment.
To strengthen its market presence in the budget segment, Xiaomi has launched its much-awaited Redmi Note 3 in the market today, while Apple is reportedly planning to cut the price of its 4-inch iPhone 5S by half.
The year 2016 is going to be an year for smartphones in India, as mobile phone penetration has almost reached 80%, with a mere 23% using smartphones. It’s now time, that the first time mobile phone users should upgrade to 3G/4G enabled budget smartphones and the budget smartphone users should graduate to mid-range smartphones. Following the foot marks of Xiaomi, other Chinese manufacturers, like Oppo, Vivo, CoolPad, LeEco, have recently made a debut in the Indian smartphone market and are flooding the market with a number of smartphones at unbelievably low prices. While it’s going to be a nail-biting competition among the smartphone manufacturers in India, in the end, it is the consumer who will be benefited from this fierce competition.