Samsung had it first from Xiaomi when the Chinese company overtook it in overall share of the Indian market for mobile phones. Now, the South Korean major has been beaten by another Chinese company OnePlus in the premium segment smartphones in the Indian market. A Counter Point survey has found that backed by a strong showing by its latest flagship OnePlus 6, the company clocked the highest growth year-on-year for the second quarter.
The irony is that Samsung and Apple - the other two in the reckoning in the premium segment, saw their sales figures drop from last year’s volumes. In the Indian context, phones retailing for Rs 30,000 or more are clubbed within this bracket. Counter Point is a market research firm based out of Hong Kong and has been regularly reporting on the Indian mobile market statistics.
OnePlus now enjoys a market share of 40%, Samsung 34% and Apple a lowly 14%. Despite high decibel advertisements and other promotional activities, Samsung was not able to sell as many Galaxy S9s this year as compared to the S8 last year. The survey report suggests the drop was 25%.
Apple, on the other hand, has been facing its own challenges within the country with higher import duties and premium phones not being manufactured in India.
From the perspective of OnePlus, the company bets big on the Indian market. A third of its revenues globally is contributed by India. More importantly, OnePlus has successfully leveraged offline ‘experience’ stores to complement its strong online push. These experience stores are where the public get to have a look and feel of the devices.
The Founder of OnePlus Pete Lau, who is also the CEO, has in fact recorded his personal views on the Indian market and how the company has witnessed phenomenal growth in its business here in a post. He has gone on to make the announcement in that post that OnePlus is offering some extra discounts and other promotional benefits to its customers in India, beginning August 1. The offer is for purchasers of OnePlus 6 and the company has tied up with certain banks to include cashback and interest-free EMI offers. Those returning their old phones also are accommodated with discounts.
The company has plans to expand its offline presence while maintaining focus on making sales online.