According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, India’s smartphone market got off to a good start with a total shipment of 32.1 million units in 1Q19 (2019Q1), maintaining a healthy 7.1% year-on-year (YoY) growth. High channel inventory from the previous quarter resulted in a sequential decline of 8.4%.
“Despite the government’s new e-commerce rules, online channels managed to sustain their pace, registering 19.6% YoY growth in 1Q19. Fueled by attractive offers and new launches by vendors like Xiaomi, Samsung, Realme, and Huawei, online sales reached 40.2% of the market in 1Q19,” says Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
Large shipments in the festival quarters of 3Q18 and 4Q18 led to high channel inventory, leading to flat YoY growth in offline channels in 1Q19. But new products still arrived in Samsung’s A series and online-heavy vendors like Xiaomi and Realme expanded to offline counters.
Average selling prices grew by 3.3% YoY to US$161. This can be attributed to the growth in the US$300-US$500 segment, accounting for 6% of the overall smartphone market in 1Q19. This segment also outgrew all other price bands on the back of newly launched vivo V15 Pro.
Joshi further adds, “Samsung surpassed Apple for the leadership position in the premium (US$500+) segment with an overall share of 36.0% in 1Q19 due to its newly launched Galaxy S10 flagship series that was supported by huge marketing campaigns. OnePlus followed, as its OnePlus 6T was the top-selling model in India’s US$500+ smartphone segment in 1Q19.
The feature phone market, which still accounts for half of the total mobile phone shipments, registered 32.3 million-unit shipments in 1Q19, with a sharp decline of 42.4% YoY. There was a sharp drop in 4G-enabled feature phones, declining by more than 50% YoY due to channel inventory from previous quarters. There was also a sequential dip in 2G/2.5G feature phones.
Xiaomi maintained its leadership position, growing YoY by 8.1% in 1Q19. There were multiple new launches by Xiaomi, namely the Redmi Note 7 series along with Redmi Go. Xiaomi also continued to dominate the online channel with 48.6% share in 1Q19.
Samsung continued in the second position with a YoY decline of 4.8% in 1Q19. The vendor revamped its product strategy by launching its online-exclusive M-series (which raised its online share to 13.5% on the back of the Galaxy M20) and its offline-exclusive A-series to counter the Chinese vendors. Offline channels are upbeat about the vendor’s schemes and support as it phases out its old J-series.
vivo continued in third position as its shipments doubled YoY in 1Q19, driven primarily by its new flagship V15 Pro and affordable Y91. The vendor continues to invest heavily in its marketing initiatives as the IPL season started in 2Q19 with attractive channel margins and schemes.
OPPO recaptured its 4th position with YoY growth of 9.7% in 1Q19, backed by new models such as the K1 (the first ever online-exclusive model for India) and the F11/Pro series, as well as its ongoing affordable A-series.
Realme continued to feature in the top 5 vendors list, despite dropping to the fifth position in 1Q19. Its newly launched realme 3 series produced the highest shipments for the vendor. Originally launched as an online-focused brand, Realme realized the importance of an omnichannel presence with its quick expansion to offline channels; now almost one out of three Realme phones are sold offline.
IDC India Forecast
Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India mentions “In 2019, we should expect further aggressive offline expansion by the online-heavy vendors in an attempt to get a wider footprint in smaller cities and towns. Having said that, the influence of the online channels and their focus on the smartphone business will continue. This will gain momentum in the all-important second half of the year since the affordability driving factors like EMIs/cashback offers continue to be top-of-mind attributes for consumers.”
Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India
Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India.
Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India.
“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.
ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament
ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.
The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.
The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion.
The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:
- Country qualifiers
- Country finals
- Asia Pacific finals
Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.
Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals.
Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.
3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:
|ROG Masters APAC Championship||APAC Finals (USD/ team)|
Registration and Official Tournament Website
Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.
Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.
Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars
Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region.
The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia.
The team captains for each nation are:
- Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
- Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
- Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)
- Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
- Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
- Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)
- Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
- Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
- Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)
- RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
- Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
- The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)
Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!.
To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
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