OnePlus and Apple experienced explosive growth in India last quarter

OnePlus and Apple experienced explosive growth in India last quarter
The Indian smartphone market is becoming even more important for global brands with each passing quarter and the latest market data gathered by Counterpoint Research shows exactly why.

Xiaomi was the market leader in India last quarter

In Q1 2021 manufacturers shipped a combined 38 million smartphones in India, an increase of 23% versus Q1 2020. That’s a new record for the first quarter and the success can be attributed to new product launches and delayed demand coming from 2020.

Xiaomi led the market once again with an impressive 26% share and acceptable 4% year-on-year growth, per the latest data. The Redmi 9 series drove demand, with the entry-level Redmi 9A becoming the best-selling model overall.

Interest in the Redmi Note 10 series was high too, and the mid-range Mi 10i 5G experienced a positive response from local customers. Sub-brand Poco, which is included in Xiaomi’s results, saw outstanding success too, with annual growth of 558% thanks to the affordable Poco M3 and mid-range Poco X3 models.

Samsung experienced strong growth in Q1 2021

Samsung followed in second place with a 20% market share, according to Counterpoint Research. Overall Galaxy smartphone shipments rocketed 52% during the quarter thanks to its focus on the budget segment with devices like the Galaxy M02 and Galaxy A32.

Of course, the flagship Galaxy S21 series — which includes some of the best phones in 2021 — also made an appearance. The earlier launch worked well for the brand in India, particularly online through its own website. Samsung is expected to continue expanding its offline presence moving forward.

Vivo, Realme, and Oppo completed the top 5

The likes of Vivo, Realme, and Oppo are emerging brands in Europe and have zero presence in the United States. But in India, the three brands complete the top 5 list of smartphone brands.

Vivo reportedly accounted for 16% of the Indian smartphone market between January and March. It was a leading player in the offline segment and registered impressive demand for the flagship Vivo X60 series.

Realme followed with an 11% market share, down from 14% a year earlier due to a 4% year-on-year decrease in total shipments. Nevertheless, the newly launched budget Narzo series could turn things around for Realme during the coming months.

As for Oppo, Counterpoint Research reports that it held an 11% share of Indian smartphone shipments, with the Reno 5 Pro 5G playing an important role — the device accounted for 3% of all Indian 5G smartphone sales last quarter.

Apple and OnePlus saw demand for their phones explode

The real winners in India between January and March were arguably Apple and OnePlus.

Apple shipped over 1 million smartphones for the second consecutive quarter and maintained its position as the leading brand in India’s premium smartphone market with a share of almost 50%. Strong demand for the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE were the main contributors. That caused Apple’s Indian iPhone business to grow by 207% year-on-year in Q1 2021.

As Apple continues to ramp up its ‘Made in India’ efforts, the company will be able to offer even more models at lower prices and likely increase its market share even further. One thing’s for sure, though — the brand still has a long way to come before it’s on the level of arch-rivals Samsung and Xiaomi.

OnePlus, on the other hand, was the number one 5G smartphone brand in India last quarter. The original OnePlus Nord was the best-selling 5G model, but the OnePlus 8T also proved to be popular.

OnePlus’ Indian smartphone business grew more than 300% in the quarter. Growth is expected to continue throughout the current quarter thanks to the recently launched OnePlus 9 series.

However, It’ll undoubtedly face tough competition from Samsung, Xiaomi, and other mainstream players as more 5G smartphones are launched. So it’ll be interesting to see how long OnePlus can maintain its lead in the 5G market.

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