Xiaomi the biggest smartphone vendor in Q3, OnePlus leads premium segment: IDC

“IDC says smartphone prices will rise over the next few months as brands will pass on the effects of the falling rupee to the consumers instead of absorbing the same”

Xiaomi has continued its strong run in the July-September 2018 period in India to consolidate its position as the market leader, according to market research firm IDC. The Q3 report also mentions that the smartphone shipments in the country are at par with feature phone shipments for the first time. Moreover, the average selling price of smartphones in the online segment has also increased in the period, with OnePlus getting credit for pushing the figure higher. However, the market research firm predicts smartphones will get more expensive in the coming months due to the depreciation of the rupee.

The Q3 period witnessed 42.6 million smartphone units being shipped, a year-on-year growth of 9.1 percent. IDC says this growth was “primarily driven by the eTailer channel in preparation for the multiple sale events in the run-up to the Diwali festival.” The offline sales channel, on the other hand, experienced slower growth at 6.6 percent but still accounts for 60 percent of the smartphones sold in the Indian market.


IDC’s data shows that Xiaomi was responsible for 27.3 percent of the smartphone shipments in Q3 and sold 11.7 million units. Redmi Note 5 Pro and Redmi 5A were the top selling handsets for the brand, with over 5 million units sold for the second consecutive quarter. In online sales, it accounts for 48.9 percent of the shipments. Samsung was the second biggest player with unit sales of 9.6 million and 22.6 percent market share. Its popular models in the July-September period were Galaxy J6, Galaxy J2 (2018), Galaxy J8, Galaxy J4 and the Galaxy J2 Core Android One phone.

Next in the list is Vivo with 10.5 percent market share and 4.5 million units sold. IDC says it grew an impressive 35.4 percent in the quarter, with models such as Y81, Y83 Pro, Y71, V11, and V11 Pro getting a mention. Micromax was on the fourth spot thanks to a Chattisgarh government contract it bagged and sold 2.9 million units to account for 6.9 percent of the shipments. Rounding up the list is OPPO that also had 2.9 million units sold and 6.7 percent market share. However, OPPO’s shipments have declined 7.1 percent over the last year and its F9 and F9 Pro models failed to make their mark in the sector. On the other hand, IDC says the flagship Find X smartphone got traction.

OnePlus 6 was the best selling model in the premium segment, which the market research firm classifies with a starting price of $500 (~Rs 35,000). The brand — which achieved its highest ever sales in the period — claimed in a statement to the media a market share of 37 percent in the premium segment, citing the IDC report. The OnePlus 6 is also credited for pushing the average selling price of smartphones in the online segment from $156 (~Rs 11,100) to $166 (~Rs 11,900). OnePlus is followed by Samsung and Apple in the premium segment; however, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max “were unable to create much demand in the opening quarter due to its high pricing in the India market.”

Coming to the feature phone segment, it saw total unit sales of 43.1 million, resulting in growth of 2.1 percent over the same period last year. Jio Phone shipments continue to decline in India as the company is focussed on clearing existing inventory. On the other hand, the 2G/ 2.5G feature phone market grew by 19.6 percent over the April-June period, arresting a decline of two straight quarters. IDC credited this to brands such as Samsung, Nokia licensee HMD Global, and Lava.

“With the duty hikes in place and the dollar fluctuation, smartphone vendors are expected to raise prices of devices in the coming months rather than absorbing the cost or clocking it under cash backs and financing schemes etc,” says Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.