A Vivo smartphone on display at a promotional event in New Delhi. Photo: AFP

While the Indian economy is witnessing very subdued demand across various sectors including automobiles and consumer goods, smartphones have bucked the trend with sales touching new highs.

According to IDC India data, smartphone shipments to the world’s second-largest market grew by 10% during the April-June quarter to reach 37 million units, a record high for the quarter, Business Standard reports.

Xiaomi, which continues to lead the segment with 28.3% market share, grew by 5%. While Samsung, the second-largest player by volume, grew by 16.6%, Vivo and Oppo expanded their shipments by 31.6% and 41% in the June quarter, respectively. Realme, a sub-brand of Oppo and available only online, grew by a whopping 602% year on year.

Some industry watchers attributed the success of smartphones’ sales to their exposure to the e-commerce market, as online sales of smartphones witnessed an annual growth of 12.4%. Multiple launches, attractive offers and affordability schemes such as equal monthly installments and cashback kept the sales graph ticking.

While the share of online sales of smartphones ranges between 36 and 40%, for consumer goods it is a meager 1-3% and for passenger vehicles it is nil. Sstill, some caution that if the current downturn gets worse, smartphone sales may not remain immune.

For the ongoing July-December period, smartphone and consumer electronic sales trackers at GfK India expect sales to be higher than in the first six months of the year. They expect ales to pick up during a string of festivals in various parts of the country from September to December.

In terms of market share in the April-June quarter of 2019, the top four brands cornered 75% and Chinese phone makers registered 60% of sales.

Xiaomi leads with 28.3% market share, followed by Samsung (25%), Vivo (11%), Realme (9%) and Oppo (8%). The rest of the brands,Apple, LG, Huawei, Asus, Google, Lenovo and Motorola, constitute the remaining 19%. However, Huawei has suffered a huge drop in sales volume in this quarter following a ban by the United States government over spying allegations.

According to Counterpoint Research, about 33% of phones sold are in the price range between 11,000 (US$153) and 18,000 rupees ($250), and it is the fastest-growing segment.

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