Smartphone players rise in India smart TV market, Xiaomi leads

Leading smartphone brand Xiaomi grabbed 27 per cent market share of the India smart TV market in the first quarter this year, followed by LG at distant 14 per cent and Samsung at 10 per cent, according to a new report.

Sony with 9 per cent and TCL with 8 per cent were at fourth and fifth position in Q1 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.

Chinese brands are already dominating the smartphone market in China and India.

“Smartphone makers are leveraging brand recognition that they already have in the market and they have enough technical expertise to develop a product like smart TV. So, the entry barrier in the smart TV market is really low for smartphone companies,” said Debasish Jana, Research Associate at Counterpoint.

Smartphone makers are specifically going into the smart TV business and targeting mostly the Asian market where the smart TV category is less mature than the North American and European market.

Xiaomi got the early mover advantage and grabbed a 7 per cent share in the smart TV market globally.

After the success of Xiaomi in the Asian market, especially in China and India, other smartphone makers entered the market with a special focus on those two countries.

“Although Motorola and Nokia have launched the products only in India to exploit the opportunity in the booming India smart TV market it is unlikely they will expand to other markets soon. In China, Huawei launched smart TVs running on its Harmony OS under both Huawei and Honor brands,” informed Jana.

Most of these brands tapped into a market where consumers are buying a smart TV for the first time. They are offering a tailored and feature-rich product to the consumer at an affordable price point.

By contrast, OnePlus is differentiating itself by launching a premium smart TV. However, OnePlus has announced that it will expand its Smart TV portfolio in India with the launch of two new affordable sets via an online event on July 2.

“Realme will likely intensify competition in the affordable smart TV segment with its newly launched smart TV range,” Jana noted.

Realme has launched affordable Smart TVs that starts from Rs 12,999 and is now geared up to launch a 55-inch TV.

While Chinese smartphone brands are aggressive in the Asian smart TV market, Indian and Japanese TV brands still have a fair chance to increase the share in Asia, especially in the Indian market.

The Indian smart TV market is poised to grow as the Internet is penetrating at a faster pace and OTT consumption is growing.

Recently, VU is doing well in India with its wide range of smart TVs. Brands like Kodak and Thomson are technically licensed to Indian EMS, Super Plastronics, and are also performing quite well.

Traditional TV brands, such as Samsung, LG and Sony, still have enough brand recognition around the world while new smartphone players are appealing to millennials who are familiar with these brands.

“A lot will depend on the positioning for the brands. Moreover, most of the Chinese brands are playing in the affordable segment; the premium segment contains few brands,” said Jana.