NEW DELHI/ BENGALURU: Disruptions in the supply chain and the recent tension at the Ladakh border seem to have hit sales of Chinese smartphone makers.
Numbers released by market research firm Counterpoint for April-June quarter showed a 9% decline in market share for Chinese brands — when compared with the previous quarter (January-March 2020). South Korean giant Samsung seems to have benefited as it gained 10%.
While the Chinese brands scored a near 10% growth year-on-year, their overall share came down sequentially (quarter-on-quarter) to 72% at the end of the June quarter, against 81% a year ago, Counterpoint said.
The Chinese brands have been facing consumer wrath on social media platforms as tensions between India and China had escalated in the past few months, leading many to believe that their strong grip on India may get challenged.
The numbers do show a decline, especially for Xiaomi (by 1%), RealMe and Oppo (3% each), but market analysts refuse to read too much into the figures, saying this decline could be due to component supply constraints because of Covid restrictions and heightened customs checks for consignments from China, apart from negative sentiments.
“There were definite supply issues. Oppo had to close its factory due to some positive Covid cases, which also impacted the production of other companies such as Realme and OnePlus,” said Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint.
However, he adds that this decline may not be sustained as the Chinese brands will come back strongly in the picture as parts supplies normalise and they launch new products.
“It is difficult to match them in superior product specifications and the price at which they launch. The Indian consumer is price sensitive and prefers quality, and this is where the Chinese do well – in the Rs 15,000 segment. They have also started to promote the fact that they are making more phones in India or assembling here.”
However, Samsung seems to have gained in the period of Chinese weakness, clawing back 10% additional share at the end of Q2 when compared to the first quarter. “Samsung pushed its budget devices of M Series to capitalise on the situation. They also pushed in new products into the channel,” Singh said.