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Vivo beats Samsung to become top-selling phone brand in Indonesia

With a COVID-impacted economy skewing towards cheaper models, Chinese company Vivo has overtaken Samsung to become the top smartphone manufacturer by market share in Indonesia. The shift comes as China’s electronics giants accounted for 73.3% of sales in the country in Q2 2020, according to global research firm Counterpoint.

Vivo leads the market with 21.2%, beating the usual top seller, Samsung, which came third with a 19.6% share. The figure represents a near tripling of Vivo’s 7.8% in Q2 2019. Oppo came second with 20.6%, then Xiaomi with 17.9%, followed by Realme with 13.6%.

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Counterpoint attributed Vivo’s success to its aggressive pricing strategy, which catered to Indonesia’s low to mid-end segment. As the country continues to implement physical distancing measures, people are buying smartphones for distance learning or working from home, as schools and offices remain closed. However, due to the crisis’ impact on the economy, many buyers seek cheaper phones, with the most popular phones models costing under IDR 2 million (USD 136).

Overall smartphone sales declined 20% compared to last year in the country.

The research also found a 70% growth in online smartphone sales compared to last year. “This spurt was mainly due to the COVID-19 triggered need for social distancing and innovative marketing strategies such as shopping through WhatsApp,” said Counterpoint research associate Tanvi Sharma.

Most Indonesians bought their smartphones online from e-commerce platform Lazada, which accounted for 50% online sales in Q2 2020. Shopee followed behind with 24% and Tokopedia with 15%. Discounts and promotional offers were the most effective tactics to reel in consumers, according to the research.

“This online shopping trend is expected to continue to grow as e-commerce platforms are going big on promotional activities,” said Sharma.


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