According to a new report by market research firm CanalysVivo has shipped more smartphones than Samsung in India in the first quarter of 2020, ending March. This puts Vivo in the second spot in the market for the first time and is only second to Xiaomi in what is the second-largest smartphone market in the world.

Compared to Q1 2019, smartphone shipments in Q1 2020 was up by nearly 12% in India despite the impact of the countrywide lockdown due to COVID-19 that started in the last week of March.

As per the report, Xiaomi shipped over 10.3 million units of smartphones in Q1 2020 compared to the 9.5 million units that it sold in Q1 2019. Despite a moderate increase of 8.4%, Xiaomi’s overall market share dropped from 31.4% to 30.6%.

The most surprising development in the report is Vivo overtaking Samsung in India for the second spot. Witnessing a growth of almost 49% YoY, the Chinese manufacturer has a market share of 19.9% in Q1 2020.

Although, according to the report, the high sell-in numbers were due to the expected sales that would take place during the Indian Premier League (IPL). Unfortunately, the COVID-19-induced lockdown has postponed the tournament indefinitely. This, unfortunately, makes – as Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary – Vivo’s victory bitter-sweet.

“The high sell-in this quarter was mainly due to planned stockpiles ahead of the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the unplanned lockdown at the end of March has disrupted the vendor’s plans. With IPL postponed, and much of its inventory in offline channels locked out, Vivo will struggle to see a quick sell-through when the lockdown lifts.”

Samsung now sits third with 6.3 million shipments as compared to Vivo’s 6.7 million shipments. This makes Samsung the third smartphone OEM with a market share of 18.9%. There is not only a drop in Samsung’s market share, but also a drop in shipments that were at 7.3 million units in Q1 2019. This drop is likely due to the aggressively-priced products from competitors like Redmi and Realme.

Trailing behind Samsung are Realme and OPPO that have a market share of 10.4% and 8.5% respectively. If you weren’t aware, both these OEMs are a part of the BBK group that also has brands like Vivo, iQOO and OnePlus under its umbrella.

While numbers in Q1 2020 look good, smartphone shipments are expected to plunge in Q2 2020 according to Canalys. The lockdown in India will remain in force up to May 3rd and it’s likely to be extended in coronavirus hotspots. This along with the demand and supply-side issues in the immediate future, smartphone shipments are expected to plummet.


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