Chinese premium Mobile maker OnePlus saw its flagship mobile OnePlus 8 Pro ‘sold out’ within minutes on e-commerce platform Amazon Thursday, reported first by Bloomberg.  

Despite the growing anti-China sentiment in India, the sales of Chinese products seem unaffected.

Chinese smartphones

Chinese smartphone brands occupy 70 per cent of the total smartphone sales in India. With investments in Indian Premier League, Indian Cricket team, contracts with big Indian celebrities, Chinese mobile companies hold a tight grip on the market.

However, back in 2014, the Indian market was ruled by Indian mobile makers like Micromax whose sales surpassed that of Samsung. Indian companies like Micromax, Lava, and Intex ruled 54 per cent of the mobile sales market. Now, these brands have less than 10 per cent of sales share in the market and some of them even got shut. 

Counterpoint Research indicates that Chinese brand Xiaomi is the biggest player accounting for 30 per cent of all smartphone shipments in India 

Indian users prefer low price mobile phones with premium features. The low price range has become the selling point for smartphone makers. Chinese companies have huge sales share back in their countries and can easily afford to price their mobiles low in the Indian market.

mobile phones

According to data by Counterpoint Research, the price range of ‘Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 15,000’ is the most popular in India, which accounts for 50 per cent of all mobile sales.

During a launch event in China, Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, said that if his company makes a profit higher than a 5 per cent margin from its hardware business, the company will pass it out back to customers. Oppo and Vivo sell smartphones with a margin of 12 percent in India.

Vivo and Oppo come under the same company BBK electronics back in China, which sponsored the Indian Premier League (IPL) advertisements. Vivo was the title sponsor, while Oppo was the sponsor for the Indian cricket team.

To reach the target, some distributors sold Chinese mobiles in the grey market at zero margins. By achieving the required sales target, big distributors who were earning around Rs. 20 Lakh per month, suddenly saw a rise in their profits of up to Rs 4 crores per month. 

The main reason behind the fall of Indian smartphones makers is the failure of up-gradation from 3G to 4G. The Chinese mobile makers already had 4G technology mobiles back in China, which helped them to capture the vacuum created by Indian mobile makers.

As Indian mobile phone companies were unable to fulfill consumer demand for 4G mobiles, Chinese mobiles offered budget 4G mobiles in the market. 

Micromax recently struck Rs 1,500 crore deal with the Chattisgarh government to distribute 50 lakh smartphones. Indian smartphone brands now have the opportunity to revive in the market with an effective strategy to build mobiles according to the present technology and fight in price ranges occupied by Chinese brands.