Apple registered its best-ever performance in the Indian smartphone market in Q4 2019, altough the company still lags behind Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo.
Apple succcess was the result of a cheaper iPhone 11, and excitement around the devivce's dual and triple cameras. According to Ccanalys, the vendor shipped close to 925 thousand iPhones in Q4 2019, growing by over 200% annually. Its previous best performance was in Q3 2017 when it shipped 890 thousand iPhones to India. Apple finished sixth, behind Oppo, its highest rank in India since Q4 2013. For the full year, Apple shipped 2.0 million iPhones versus 1.6 million in 2018.
“Apple hit a home-run with its pricing strategy on the iPhone 11,” added Chaudhary. “The partnership with local bank HDFC made iPhones more affordable, with the entry-level iPhone 11 one of the cheapest ‘new’ iPhones in a while. The new iPhones have appealed not just to current iPhone users looking to upgrade, but also to value-conscious premium phone purchasers that are now presented with a formidable price-alternative to the Samsung or OnePlus flagships.”
Canalys said that the Indian smartphone market had a slow start to 2019, but finished with a sprint in the last half. The market grew 14% in Q4 2019, with total shipments at 39.0 million units. For the full year, India grew by 8%, reaching a total of 148 million smartphones. Xiaomi led the market in Q4, with shipments rising 13% to 11.2 million units, holding sell-in steady to Q3 levels. The Chinese vendor shipped 42.9 million units for the full year. Samsung held second place, but declined 7% to 8.1 million smartphones, and ended the year at 32.3 million units.
Vivo had a tremendous run in 2019, despite finishing third, and is hot on heels of Samsung and could overtake it this year. Its Q4 shipments grew 69%, and full-year shipments by 72%. Fourth-placed Realme was the best performing vendor in 2019, with a shipment growth of 473%, the highest for any vendor. Q4, was also a standout quarter for Realme, as the vendor almost quadrupled shipments to 4.7 million units. Oppo rounded the top five with 4.5 million unit shipments in Q4, growing by 42% year-on-year. For the full year, Oppo shipped 16.1 million smartphones, up by 44% from 11.2 million in 2018.