With the arrival of the smartphone era, Samsung took the lead in terms of the Market share amongst the Indian consumers. It simply ran on the trust the brand had made for itself in the pre-smartphone stage.
The Chinese players slowly started venturing into this market with Oppo and Vivo using aggressive advertising while Xiaomi using aggressive pricing to its advantage. And with that, Xiaomi today has the leading market share in India.
But there seems to be a shift in the same oncoming. Xiaomi has got a huge competition which might lead to it being dethroned. And that brand is none other than the one currently holding the title of having the largest market share of smartphones worldwide – Huawei.
Huawei initially launched in India slotting itself in the premium segment releasing it’s flagships which were priced similar to the other flagships from Apple and Samsung. Thus it couldn’t get much of a headstart in the country. They had luxury brand tie ups like the Leica tie up for better cameras and Porsche tie up for a luxury “Porsche Design” edition of the phones, but in a country where value for money meant more to the users, the brand could never catch on.
Huawei then decided to undercut it’s competition Xiaomi at their own game. One information that you need to know is that Xiaomi has really low margins on its phones and they have that to increase their market share. The only other company that can easily do that is Huawei. But since Huawei didn’t want to dissolve their brand equity by releasing cheaper phones under the same brand, they took a “Redmi” style approach and launched a new “Value for money” brand – Honor.
Amd that’s where the gameplay for the smartphone market share in India starred changing. What Honor / Huawei got up its sleeves is their manufacturing prowess and their R&D facilities. Huawei manufactures even it’s own SoC’s compared to Xiaomi having to buy those from Snapdragon or Mediatek.
With their own R&D, and their own chipset design, Huawei even got ahead of the flagship brands too in terms of AI, and Camera technologies.
And Honor had just the same technology, which was a huge boost for a budget brand in itself.
In addition, Huawei has a really large manufacturer base owing that to the Number 1 position of the company globally in terms of Market share. Thus Honor doesn’t have to resort to techniques like Flash sales and such since it doesn’t have a limited supply chain compared to Xiaomi’s model. Thus the easier access proving to be a boom just when people could not get the access to a Xiaomi phone.
Xiaomi was still trying to undercut until now it couldn’t. A week back, Honor released its Honor Play smartphone surprising everyone. The phone had the specifications of a flagship with a price of a low end smartphone.
For a measly price of Rs 20,000, Honor Play offers you Kirin 970 SoC (Huawei’s in-house chipset rivaling Snapdragon 845) paired with 6GB of RAM, and a 1080+ p Notched display. Thus the phone has the specifications of a One Plus 6 for almost half the price.
And with that “Mic Drop”, Huawei is now ready to undercut Xiaomi by even bigger margins, the fan following of Huawei could easily exceed that of Huawei and I can assume, within three years, Huawei would be on the top spot in the Indian market for smartphones.