India’s Smartphone Market in 2023: Canalys Report
On January 20, the market research agency, Canalys, released the 2023 ranking of smartphones in India. The report indicated that the shipment volume in 2023 reached 148.6 million units, experiencing a 2% year-on-year decline, but maintaining overall stability. As for the rankings, the top three positions were secured by Samsung, vivo, and Xiaomi, followed closely by realme and OPPO. Surprisingly, the fastest growth came from other brands, suggesting that newcomers like Transsion still have the potential to make a strong presence.
Samsung secured the top spot with a shipment of 28.4 million units, accounting for approximately 19% of the market share, experiencing only a 1% year-on-year decline. Despite losing its global first-place position, Samsung remained a dominant force in the Indian market, showing a clear lead over the second-ranking company. Due to well-known reasons, Xiaomi faced unfair treatment in the Indian market, allowing Samsung to successfully surpass Xiaomi in the fourth quarter of 2022, claiming the top position in India. Samsung has held the top position for the past five quarters, making its annual first-place ranking unsurprising.
In the second spot was vivo, with a shipment of 26.1 million units, accounting for 18% of the market share, marking a 3% year-on-year growth. Among the top five rankings, only vivo achieved a yearly growth, indicating the challenging situation mainstream manufacturers faced in the Indian market. Unlike other manufacturers, vivo mainly focuses on the Asian market globally, with China and India being its main battlegrounds. It would be worthwhile to investigate the reasons behind its exit from the global top five rankings in the future.
In the third position was Xiaomi, with a shipment of 25.1 million units, holding a 17% market share, experiencing a 15% year-on-year decline. In 2022, Xiaomi (29.6 million units) narrowly surpassed Samsung to claim the top spot in India. However, this year, Xiaomi dropped to the third position in the rankings, with its market share decreasing from 20% to 17%. During Xiaomi’s peak, its quarterly shipment volume reached 9.5 million units, with a market share as high as 29%.
realme secured the fourth position, with a shipment of 17.4 million units, holding a 12% market share, experiencing a 16% year-on-year decline. In this year’s rankings, realme experienced the most significant year-on-year decline among manufacturers, followed by Xiaomi, OPPO, and Samsung. In the fifth position was OPPO, with a shipment of 15.7 million units, accounting for an 11% market share, experiencing a 7% year-on-year decline. It’s worth noting that OPPO does not include OnePlus. Although both companies faced challenging times, together they can still claim the top position in India.
The shipment volume of other manufacturers reached 35.8 million units, accounting for 24% of the market share, experiencing an 18% year-on-year growth, making it perhaps the biggest dark horse in this ranking. Based on current knowledge, iPhone sales in India were also good this year, and the entry of Transsion mobiles into the global rankings might be the main reason for the significant increase in market share for other manufacturers.
Regarding the Indian market in 2023, here are my thoughts: The margin between the top three positions in the rankings is narrow. There is a good possibility for vivo and Xiaomi to make a comeback, so 2024 still remains a crucial year filled with unknowns. Considering the current situation in the domestic market, the OPPO and vivo series indeed need to strengthen their management in overseas markets. Otherwise, it’s really easy for them to drop out of the global top five.
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