Vivo overtakes Samsung in Indian smartphone sales

Vivo shipped more smartphones in India than Samsung for the first time ever last quarter, according to data from Canalys. The company’s sales to vendors nearly doubled year-on-year to 6.7 million units, almost 20 percent of the market, securing it second place behind Xiaomi’s 10.3 million units and 31-percent share. Samsung’s shipments slid 14 percent to 6.3 million units, making it the third-biggest brand ahead of Realme and Oppo.

Overall, the Indian market grew 12 percent year-on-year despite the country going into lockdown in late March. It’s worth pointing out that Vivo is a BBK Electronics brand alongside Realme and Oppo. If the sales of all three were combined, the huge Chinese conglomerate — which also owns OnePlus — would easily take the number one spot with more than 40 percent market share.

Canalys analyst Madhumita Chaudhary, however, calls Vivo’s victory “bittersweet.” The company is the main sponsor of the Indian Premier League, a massively popular Twenty20 cricket league that takes place every spring, and Chaudhary says Vivo’s shipments were intended to ensure high levels of stock. Since the IPL season has been postponed, it will be harder for Vivo to achieve its expected sell-through to consumers even if the lockdown is lifted.

Still, the figures demonstrate Vivo’s growing brand power in India even if it’s unable to account for an unprecedented pandemic. BBK’s dominance, too, is only getting stronger — Realme in particular has grown its shipments by 200 percent over the past year.

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