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OnePlus and Realme discontinue TV manufacturing and sales operations in India - What's behind the decision?

Facing increased scrutiny and challenges, Chinese tech giants OnePlus and Realme have halted their television manufacturing and sales operations in India. While they previously aimed to make a mark in the smart TV industry, they have now chosen to withdraw from this sector.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: October 24, 2023 13:47 IST
OnePlus, Realme, TV manufacturing, tech news
Image Source : FILE OnePlus and Realme discontinue TV manufacturing and sales operations in India

Under mounting pressure on Chinese firms, OnePlus and Realme, two major electronics manufacturers from China, have reportedly discontinued the production and sale of televisions in India. Both companies, which had been striving to establish a substantial presence in the smart TV business, abruptly decided to exit this category. However, they continue to operate in the smartphone market. 

Will OnePlus and Realme leave the Indian market?

Industry sources have stated that OnePlus and Realme have made a decision to move out of the television category, even after they continue to operate in the smartphone business in India

OTT and smart TV

These companies had invested in creating sales channels and branding for TVs, a category that had been growing rapidly due to the proliferation of the internet and affordable data rates. Additionally, the increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Hotstar has driven the demand for smart TVs.

At the same time, TV sales were experiencing robust growth due to the ongoing cricket World Cup in which India was a favourite. Moreover, the festive season was in full swing, contributing to increased electronics sales like TVs.

What does the recent IDC report state?

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Quarterly Smart Home Devices Tracker, 4.5 million TVs were shipped to India in the first half of 2023, marking an 8% YoY increase. IDC explained, "The frequent sales by e-tailers, multiple new launches/refresh model portfolio by vendors and clearing of old channel inventory, before the festive season starts, fueled the growth in the first half of the year. The share of the online channel grew by 25% in H1 2023 YoY, reaching 39% driven by online sales festivals."

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Indian smart TV market

The TV market in India includes well-established players like LG, Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic, with newcomers like Xiaomi and TCL from China, along with Indian brands like Vu and Thomson (under brand licensing), making their presence felt.

Notably, OnePlus and Realme's withdrawal from the TV market comes at a time when TV sales are booming, driven by the cricket World Cup and the ongoing festive season.

However, when contacted for comment, media teams for OnePlus and Realme did not respond to inquiries regarding this development.

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