Sales of Oppo, Vivo drop 30% in July


KOLKATA: Chinese smartphone brands Oppoand Vivo, which together captured 22% of India’s smartphone market in just about a year, reported sales fall for the first time in July even as some online-only brands such as Xiaomientered the offline retail space.

Sales of Oppo and Vivo declined 30% in July and they continue to remain down this month, according to four leading cellphone retail chainsand several neighbourhood retailers who felt this could be a precursor to a churn in the market.

Their fall came even as the Indian smartphone market grew by around 8% in July as per initial estimates.

Panic stricken, the Chinese owners of Oppo and Vivo have sent Chinese expats into the market along with Indian executives to talk to distributors in every state to take stock of the situation, three senior industry executives said.

Emails sent to Oppo and Vivo did not elicit any response till Monday press time.

Trade executives attributed the sudden reversal of fortune for Oppo and Vivo, which focused on brick-and-mortar trade along with aggressive marketing spends, to offline foray of online-focused brands led by Xiaomi, the country’s second largest smartphone brand after Samsung.
“Xiaomi has become extremely aggressive in physical stores, started branding in stores and has even started advertising in media and outdoor hoardings for the first time that has exerted pressure,” said Subhash Chandra, managing director at retailer Sangeetha Mobiles. “All these activities have eaten into the share of Oppo and Vivo.”

Sangeetha Mobiles has 375 cellphone stores across India. Other online-focused brands such as Lenovo, Motorola, Honor and Asus too are entering the brick-and-mortar space with the implementation of GST.