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Samsung Back on Top of Indian Feature Phone Market

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

After the Indian phone market saw some major reshuffling in 2018, Samsung was back on top of the feature phone category in 2019. Xiaomi, which topped the smartphone category for the first time in 2018, could retain its lead in the most recent year on record.

Jio boosted its market share on feature phone shipments to 38 percent in 2018, but that share was back down to 17 percent most recently, as the company was scrambling to put out a new product after its higher-priced JioPhone 2 was not a hit. The company uses cheap rates and promotions to attract customers to its 4G-ready feature phones. The Jio Phone 3 is expected to ship in August.

As Indians are switching to smartphones, the local feature phone market declined by 42 percent between 2018 and 2019 (22 percent global decline), turning the Middle East in Africa into the biggest feature phone market globally ahead of India. The Indian smartphone market grew by 7 percent in 2019, turning the country into the second biggest smartphone market behind China and ahead of the U.S., according to Counterpoint Research.

Samsung shipped the second-most smartphones in India in 2018 and 2019, but as of Q1 2020 had been overtaken by another Chinese phone maker, Vivo.

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