India may ban Chinese brands from launching phones under Rs 12,000, will it help Indian brands?

India might be working on a plan to give domestic smartphone manufacturers a chance to grow their market share in the country.

Anvinraj ValiyatharaUpdated: Tuesday, August 09, 2022, 03:01 PM IST
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For the past few years, Chinese smartphone brands have been dominating the smartphone market in India. According to a recent market survey by International Data Corporation (IDC), Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo, Samsung, and Vivo are the top five smartphone brands in India in 2Q22. Except for Samsung, the remaining brands are from China. India might be working on a plan to give domestic smartphone manufacturers a chance to grow their market share in the country.

According to a Bloomberg report, India is planning to ban Chinese smartphone manufacturers from selling phones in the Rs 12,000 price segment, which is the entry-level smartphone market. This can impact the businesses of brands like Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Vivo, and others that have been increasingly relying on India, which is the world’s second-larger mobile market, as smartphone sales have been sharply declining in the home market for several months due to multiple issues, including the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Which phones will be affected?

Here are some of the Chinese phones that will suffer if India imposes the said ban. China-based Transsion Holdings operates three smartphones in India, such as Tecno, Infinix, and Itel. The Itel brand mainly focuses on launching phones in the Rs. 6,000 segment. The following phones across different bands are going to be affected due to the ban: Tecno’s Pop, Spark, and Pova series; Infinix’s Smart, Hot, and Note series; Xiaomi’s Redmi 10 and 9 lineup; POCO’s C series and entry-level M series; Realme’s C lineup and entry-level Narzo phones; Vivo Y-series and entry-level T-branded models; and entry-level OPPO A-series phones.

Which are the Indian phones under Rs 12,000?

Banning Chinese brands from selling phones under Rs 12,000 will certainly allow Indian phone brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn Mobiles, and Reliance Jio to gain popularity and increase their market share. Navkendar Singh, associate vice-president for devices research at IDC India, South Asia & ANZ, is of the view that an outright ban will not help the existing Indian smartphone brands as they do not have the capacity to fill the market gap. However, he believes that this move will allow new Indian companies to enter the smartphone industry.

What is the market for sub-Rs 12,000 phones

Sub-Rs 12,000 smartphones account for roughly 40 per cent of all smartphones sold in India. IDC reported that 66 per cent of Xiaomi phones fall under the Rs. 12,000 segment. According to Bloomberg, preventing Xiaomi from releasing phones under Rs 12,000 could result in a drop of 11 to 14 per cent, or 20 to 25 million units per year. In the same way, the ban could impact the businesses of other Chinese smartphone OEMs.

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