The influx of Chinese phone makers may be largely responsible.
China took over the US as the largest smartphone market in the world years ago, but now Americans can’t even claim 2nd place. Counterpoint Research estimates that India overtook the US to become the second-largest market in the world, with over 158 million phone shipping to the country in 2019 itself. That’s largely due to the surge of Chinese manufacturers offering aggressively low-priced devices. A whopping 72 percent of phones shipped to India came from brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo.
It’s not shocking that India would overtake the US given its population and an emerging market where more people can afford smartphones in the first place. However, this could still have a significant impact on how phone makers sell devices beyond what you’ve seen so far. They may be more likely to design phones with India in mind, for instance. Don’t be surprised if your favorite brand shifts its focus, whether or not there are benefits in other corners of the world.