In the face of stiff competition from giants like Apple and Samsung, and grappling with a tarnished brand image due to heightened government scrutiny, leading Chinese smartphone brands are pulling out all the stops to maintain their stronghold in the Indian market.
Their game plan? Doubling down on offline retail, enlisting celebrity brand ambassadors, rolling out fresh initiatives, and zeroing in on product excellence.
What Happened? This strategic pivot comes at a time when the demand for smartphones in India is waning, thanks to soaring product prices and economic unpredictability. The landscape is also ripe for newcomers like Nothing and Google, who might find the barriers to entry a tad lower than in other markets.
The numbers tell a tale: Chinese brands, once enjoying a whopping 77% market share in Q1 2020, saw it plummet to 61% by Q2 2023. Meanwhile, global powerhouses like Apple and Samsung have upped their game, with their combined share leaping from 17% to 27%.
Changing gears: Realme’s spokesperson commented on the evolving scenario to ET, emphasizing their “Spire Strategy” that integrates advanced technology across their product spectrum. Brands are also redirecting their advertising bucks from Google Search to Amazon, leveraging e-commerce platforms, social media influencers, and branded content to stay top-of-mind for consumers.
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Xiaomi, once the market leader, has now slipped to the fifth position in India’s smartphone arena. Their response? Collaborations with Bollywood bigwigs for mass appeal and a renewed focus on offline retail. Similarly, brands like Oppo and Vivo are betting big on product quality, advertisements, and sponsorships to rejuvenate their image and expand their reach.
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