Smaller competition may gain in India at Huawei’s cost

Huawei’s expected troubles due to US sanctions could open a window of opportunity for rival debutants Realme and Oppo to get a toehold in India’s premium smartphone market, analysts said.

Oppo is making a second attempt at cracking the premium smartphone segment — those costing over Rs 30,000 — with the launch of its new premium series Reno. Realme will enter the space towards the latter part of the year.

Market experts say Huawei may be forced to pull out devices with Android readying to snap ties with the Chinese smartphone maker. Oppo and Realme could well exploit the gap and growing competition in the segment dominated by Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple so far. The premium smartphone segment itself is expected to almost double by December end to 10% of the overall market, said Counterpoint Research.

“The absence of Huawei, one of the fastest growing premium segment players, will surely give competitors some relief,” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, said.

Madhav Sheth, chief executive officer at Realme India, confirmed the brand’s plan to enter the premium segment and said “There’s huge scope in every segment, including the premium segment. We want to be present in this segment… before the year-end, our premium product will be launched.”