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IDC's Q2 2018 Smartphone Report for the Indian Market shows Xiaomi a Clear Winner, Samsung Struggling and Apple Invisible

1 X - Xiaomi #1 in India


According to a new IDC report on India’s Q2 smartphone market we learn that smartphone companies shipped a total of 33.5 million that resulted in a healthy 20% year-over-year (YoY) growth. The Indian market is seeing rapid consolidation at the top end, as the top 5 vendors made up 79% of the smartphone market in 2Q18, marginalizing smaller brands in India that just happens to include Apple. 



Xiaomi remains the leader in the smartphone market with growing offline presence while maintaining dominance in the online space. Xiaomi contributed more than 56% of the shipments in online space, while 33% of its shipments went through offline channels in 2Q18.


The premium end of the market (US$500+) grew almost two times year-over-year (YoY) mainly due to continued strong shipments of Samsung Galaxy S9 series and OnePlus 6.


4 x - 1 + - OnePlus 6


The OnePlus actually surpassed Apple to be the second biggest player in the US$500+ segment with a share of 21% in 2Q18. Oppo is the parent company of OnePlus.


While Counterpoint gave Samsung a 1% lead over Xiaomi in Q2, 2018, IDC's chart shows that Xiaomi with 29.7% of the market clearly surpassed Samsung at 23.9%. As for Apple's 1% market, IDC simply ignored them under "others" category.


3 counterpoint  apple 1%

Xiaomi maintained its leadership position with its highest ever shipments in a single quarter in 2Q18. The vendor's shipments saw a growth of 10% sequentially and grew more than two-fold annually. Its four smartphone models captured the top four slots in top models ranking, namely Redmi 5A, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi Note 5 and Redmi 5, together accounting for 26% of overall smartphone shipments.


Samsung's president of IT & Mobile Communications division DJ Koh said in a Korean report today that Samsung will focus more on expanding the budget phone lineup as emerging markets such as India and South America have shown strong demand for cheap phones rather than premium phones.


With 1% market share, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller told Indian Express last year that Apple doesn't make products cheaper for specific markets. Apple is relying on keeping older iPhone models alive and moving them down the price line. That hasn't advanced Apple's position any in India to date. Perhaps over time it will hit more sweet spots price-wise in India. It's a patience game to be sure on this current course.


Yet with Apple's iPhones embarrassingly losing in emerging markets, you have to wonder why Apple executives haven't sat down to invent a new class of iPhones geared specifically for emerging markets with a mix of old and new parts with only 5" displays. The volumes would justify a new class of smartphones at a profit.


Just hoping that emerging markets will one magic day have a large enough middle class to afford premium iPhones hasn't proven to be a winning philosophy to date. Consumers in emerging markets really don't need cutting edge. They need practical smartphones that they can afford ... today.


Apple acknowledges that India is an important market and hopefully soon they'll rewrite their game plan for India and go all out to get on the relevancy map.  


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