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The real king of the Indian Smartphone market

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

The Indian smartphone market had surpassed the USA Smartphone market for the first time at the annual level, becoming the second-largest smartphone market globally after reaching 158 million shipments in 2019 with 7% YoY growth, according to the latest research from Counterpoint.

Most of us are aware of the fact that the Indian Mobile industry is dominated by Chinese players.

The majority of the shares are owned by Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, RealMe, One Plus. Samsung and Apple do have a substantial market share, along with a minority share by Nokia. Xiaomi is the market leader with 28%, followed by Samsung at 21% and Vivo at 16%. Where the smartphone market grew, the feature phone market saw a steep decline of around 42% YoY in 2019.

You must be seeing the fierce completion of Oppo and Vivo, but many of us are not aware of the name BBK Electronics from China and its presence in India as a mobile company. But the most exciting fact is that BBK Electronics has a market share of 43 Percent in the Indian Smartphone market as per CounterPoint. Strange for the people who aren’t aware of it, but Oppo, Vivo, One Plus, and RealMe have a single parent company which is Dongguan-based BBK Electronics.

Founder of BBK Duan Yongping with Warren buffet at Stanford university

BBK Electronics

BBK Electronics is a Chinese-based company which was founded in 1995 to manufacture gaming consoles which are then-rival for Nintendo and other electronic devices like language repeaters, electronics dictionary, reading machines, etc. Then they entered the music industry by founding Oppo. In 2009 another brand emerged that is Vivo, which at that time known for its Music Hardware (Technology). Another smartphone brand emerged in 2013, which we now know as Oneplus, a brand spring up in 2018 with astonishing smartphones from another sub-brand (Oppo), which we hear of every now and then, i.e., Realme.


Founded in 2004. The main motto of Oppo was to sell music equipment like DVDs, CD-ROMs, music players, headphones, etc. Later they entered the smartphone industry. Their smartphone series are A, F, N, R, Find, and recently Reno.


This is another sub-brand of BBK ELECTRONICS, which was founded in 2009. As said, Vivo is known for its Music Technology; they provide excellent music hardware, i.e., Hi-Fi chips in their smartphones. Vivo smartphones were more focused on the consumers whose smartphone priority was Camera and Music.


This company was founded in 2013 by Pete Lau, who was once president of the Oppo smartphone division. He started this company with his fellow-mate Carl Pei from Oppo, who shared the same vision. Oneplus is a sub-brand of Oppo, it is because when it was founded all the resources were provided by Oppo and later it became a subsidiary of the Oppo.


This smartphone brand is again a sub-brand of Oppo, which was established in 2018 by Sky Li, who once was vice-president of Oppo. This smartphone brand shares similarities with its elder sibling Oneplus which is Online focused.

If Oppo and Vivo catering to the masses, OnePlus is gaining a significant market share in the premium segment. Positioning is one of the most essential points when there are similarities in their products and marketing, but BBK Electronics position its individual brands without worrying much about it.

BBK Electronics has clearly gauged all the segments of the Indian smartphone market, i.e., the top-end, the mid-end, and low-end.

The success of Oppo and Vivo, as well as OnePlus and Realme, shows that the unique strategy of creating different independent brands could be the way to go in the future for the company. Many experts have the opinion that the model is full of risks, but BBK Electronics’ approach has been flexible in implementing the model, and they are going great at it. If demand for smartphones of one brand starts falling, BBK can switch to another brand to meet targets. And if one brand is missing on a particular segment, create a new brand as they did as RealMe. Realme grew 255% in India in the year 2019.

The growth of Realme was primarily driven by an aggressive go-to-market strategy, which involved launching multiple industry-first features with strong design language usage.

BBK also launched another brand named IQOO a few years ago. This smartphone sub-brand leverages experience in children’s educational electronic toys to create the world’s first education handset.

Marketing Strategy of BBK Electronics:

BBK Electronics with Oppo and Vivo- Push Marketing Strategy

Push marketing is nothing but forcing or pushing the product of the brand in the market through promotions.

Oppo and Vivo sell their phones at a price higher than the quality that they offer as per the widespread belief in the market, and we need to admit this as it is evident after looking at their business models and the way they advertise. The majority of their budget went into marketing and creating brand awareness. The retail presence of Oppo and Vivo has been substantial with a high number of stores in Blue and Green decorations even in Tier 3 and Tier 4 Cities. Oppo is the sponsor for the Indian Cricket Team, and Vivo is the sponsor for IPL, and they have spent a hefty amount for this.

BBK Electronics with OnePlus and Realme-Pull Marketing Strategy –

One Plus and Realme both the companies work on Pull Marketing Strategy, where no efforts are made to attract customers. The smartphone’s reputation as the must-have phone for the tech-savvy crowd lot had a direct impact on the OnePlus website as well. Referring tech-oriented sites helped fan the flames by directing traffic to the product’s homepage of course ultimately the referrers lent a big helping hand in cementing brand awareness among the customer.

Futuristic Store of OnePlus

BBK Electronics has come a long way by this strategy and become the number 2 in the world after Samsung after the position of Huawei has been put into jeopardy due to Huawei’s ban from US markets and technology. Still, challenges like the pandemic will definitely have some impact over this in the coming days as the brands like OPPO and Vivo are dependent on sales over China and India, where the pandemic has hit badly, and OnePlus has a good market share in Europe which is also poorly hit by Pandemic. Let us see how the marketing strategy changes in the coming days for the company.

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