Wednesday, 25 January 2017

How Chinese smartphone makers are beating local cos in India

The proverbial Latin phrase Veni, Vedi, Vici — I came; I saw; I conquered — has become synonymous with Chinese handset makers as they quickly swept away their Indian counterparts and gained nearly 50 percent share in the India’s smartphone market in December 2016. A strong component supply coupled with stronger marketing blitzkrieg helped Chinese brands Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo and Xiaomi together garner 46 percent share in comparison to market leader Samsung’s 24 percent. Vivo had 10 percent share, while Xiaomi and Lenovo garnered 9 percent each and Oppo share is 8 percent of the smartphone pie in the three months to December 31, 2016.

Chinese players haven’t stopped spending top dollars in marketing their phones. A walk through the roads of Tier II and Tier III towns — mobile shops and billboards scream Chinese phones — is suggestive of what they are doing right and highlights the shortcomings of homegrown companies. Their rise was also aided by demonetisation-hit Indian manufacturers such as Micromax, Karbonn and Intex. “November 2016 saw Chinese brand share reach an all-time high, accounting for 51 percent of the total smartphone market.

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