Vivo Pacing to Become India’s #1 Smartphone Retailer in 2021

By: Aman Bansal, Flurry Analyst

India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market, only behind China, and world’s fastest growing smartphone market. Considering the rate of new smartphone adoption, Indian smartphone preferences could have a global impact. In a previous blog post, Flurry reported on the increasing dominance of Chinese smartphone manufacturers in India at the expense of Samsung and local Indian manufacturers. In this report, we’ll revisit smartphone market share in India by OEM, as well factors driving growth in this market. 

Flurry Analytics is used in over 1 million mobile applications worldwide, providing insights from 2 billion devices per month. Let’s begin by reviewing smartphone market share in India over the past 5 quarters.

Smartphone Market Share in India 2020 - 2021

Vivo’s Steady Rise to #2

In the chart above, we plot the market share of the top five smartphone manufacturers in India over the past five quarters. While Xiaomi (in green) maintains its position as the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, vivo’s adoption rates (in purple) have increased more than 5 points throughout the past year, positioning it neck and neck with Xiaomi for the pole position. Xiaomi’s market share increased slightly more than one point, leaving it only 0.5 points ahead of vivo as of Q1 2021. If vivo continues to grow at these levels, it will overtake Xiaomi as the leading smartphone manufacturer in India as soon as Q2 2021. In contrast, Samsung’s share dropped from 19% to 15%, and the world's leading smartphone manufacturer is now fighting to retain third spot against an aggressive OPPO which has consistently maintained its market share near 15%. Apple holds a distant fifth position, but saw its market share decrease from 3.8% to 2.3% despite launching the Apple Store in India in the Fall of 2020.

The Power of Advertising

While catching a consumer’s attention is never easy, vivo does have a lot of firepower—in the form of advertising dollars—at its disposal. Per a Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2020, vivo spent more on advertising in India than any other smartphone manufacturer, and was the 7th largest advertiser in the country across all industries. Since 2016, vivo has replaced PepsiCo as the title sponsor for the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as hired some of India’s most popular celebrities such as Aamir Khan, Ranveer Singh and Virat Kohli as brand ambassadors. 

Next, let’s look at the change in smartphone market share by state to identify the regions driving new smartphone growth in the country. 

YoY Smartphone Market Share Shifts by GDP in India

In the chart above, we plot the states in India based on their year-over-year change in smartphone market share and GDP Per Capita. The x-axis is the GDP Per Capita with an increasing order from left to right. The y-axis is the YoY Change in smartphone market share increasing from bottom to top. 

States with the Lowest Per Capita Income See the Highest Growth

Most of the states experiencing the largest smartphone growth are in the upper left region, where GDP Per Capita is below the national average of $2,030. The smartphone penetration rate in India is 25%, which is far below the global average of 46%. Much of this low penetration is because those living in rural and less affluent areas in India have been slower to adopt smartphones than those in the major city centers. However, this rapid growth in rural regions also provides the biggest opportunity for smartphone manufacturers to ship more devices and for app developers to benefit from a large population of people newly discovering the world of mobile apps.

Much of the decrease in smartphone market share is seen in the states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the lower right-hand quadrant. This is likely driven by the major metropolitan cities in those regions, such as Mumbai, Gurgaon, etc. where the smartphone penetration is already quite high and hence future growth opportunities are limited compared to more rural areas. Additionally, due to the pandemic many of the affluent workers in these cities have returned to their hometowns, which shifts their smartphone usage to another region. For an advertiser in the app economy, it is an important shift to keep in mind as they allocate their marketing budgets and don’t want to lose out on affluent smartphone users who are no longer living in the larger cities. 

With its large population, low smartphone penetration rate and rapid smartphone growth, the Indian smartphone market is positioned to shape the global app economy in the years to come. We’ll continue to monitor shifts in market share and smartphone adoption rates, both in India and throughout the world. For more mobile industry insights, make sure you follow us on the Flurry Blog and on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Flurry blog ( is an independent blog and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. or Samsung.