While Apple missed being a top five smartphone player in India in Q4 2019, they were still registered as the Premium Smartphone leader
A February report from IDC India for smartphones in Q4 2019 shows Apple not making the top five vendors which were Xiaomi, Vivo, Samsung, OPPO and realme as presented in IDC's chart below.
Although Apple didn't make the top five, their presence in India's smartphone sector was still recognized in the "premium space."
While a Counterpoint report published on February 4 listed Apple as the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in 2019 and listed the iPhone XR as the number on ultra-premium smartphone, they clearly showed in a chart that OnePlus beat Apple overall in the premium brand segment.
However, the IDC report under premium smartphones stated the following: "In the premium (US$500+) segment, Apple surpassed Samsung for the leadership position with a market share of 47.4% in 2019, driven by aggressive price drops on previous generation models, bank offers on debit/credit cards, strong e-Tailer sales momentum, and a lower iPhone 11 launch price compared to the iPhone XR.
The top phone vendor in India in Q4 2019 was Xiaomi which registered annual shipments of 43.6 million units in 2019, the highest ever smartphone shipments made by any brand in a year, with a growth of 9.2% YoY. The Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi 6A were the highest shipped devices nationally in 2019. Xiaomi continued to dominate in 4Q19 with 15.9% YoY growth on the back of newly launched Redmi Note 8 Pro/8A/Note 8/8 series.
Beginning in the second half of 2020 Apple could begin a dramatic push in India with their upcoming SE2 iPhone model (or whatever they call it). If the Apple XR made such an impact followed by the iPhone 11 in Q4 2019, one can only image the impact a $399-$499 iPhone will make. Will it be enough to see Apple finally crack the top 5 list in India by calendar Q4 2020? While it's highly probable, but only time will tell.