India is now the world's second-largest smartphone market after China
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Ever since the widespread availability of low-cost wireless internet, the Indian market has been the focus of phone manufacturers worldwide. Chinese companies, in particular, have done a commendable job of establishing their foothold in the region. A newly-released report by Contrapoint Research now states that the Indian smartphone market has surpassed the United States with 158 million phones being shipped to the country in 2019.
It is hardly surprising, considering that India is the second most populated country in the world. Furthermore, a good chunk of the population didn't have access to smartphones until very recently. The influx of low-cost smartphones has gone a long way towards bringing more people online. An estimate puts the total number of smartphone users in India at 438 million. That number still accounts for only a third of the total population, so there is still a lot more scope for growth.
The meteoric rise in the number of devices shipped is mostly due to companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme. These four companies alone accounted for more than 72% of all smartphone shipments in 2019. Despite the heavy Chinese competition, Samsung has still managed to retain its spot as the second most popular smartphone brand in the country. There are also several other players such as Transsion, Micromax, and Intex that have helped fuel growth by focusing exclusively on users based in rural areas.
China still reigns supreme as the world's top smartphone market, though. However, it doesn't receive nearly as much attention as India because the country's smartphone ecosystem runs on locally-grown solutions such as Baidu, WeChat, Weibo, and the likes. India, on the other hand, has no such options. That is a part of the reason why tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon are investing copious amounts of money towards developing products for the Indian subcontinent.