While the smartphone market faced a slowdown in the pandemic-hit year of 2020, shipments from the first quarter of 2021, as per a report by Counterpoint Research, show a high growth rate for a number of brands, with brands like Xiaomi and Samsung leading market share and Apple and OnePlus seeing big growth numbers.
Smartphone companies shipped a combined 38 million smartphones in India in Q1 2021, which was an increase of 23 per cent compared to Q1 2020. The growth could be attributed to two major factors – new product launches and delayed demand from 2020.
US tech giant Apple and Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus were the biggest winners in Q1 2021 in India. Apple shipped over 1 million phones for the second consecutive quarter and its Indian phone business grew 207 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2021. The main contributors to this were strong demand for the iPhone 11 series and iPhone SE.
OnePlus was the number one 5G brand in India through the quarter with the OnePlus Nord being the best selling 5G phone in the country. The OnePlus 8T was also popular. The brand’s Indian smartphone business grew by over 300 per cent in Q1 2021.
Xiaomi led the market with a 26 per cent market share and 4 per cent year-on-year growth. The brand’s success was driven by the Redmi 9 series including the entry-level Redmi 9A which was the best selling Xiaomi phone in Q1 2021.
The Redmi Note 10 series was also quite popular and so was the mid-range Mi 10i 5G. Xiaomi sub-brand Poco also saw annual growth of 558%, with numbers being driven by value for money phones like the Poco M3 and the Poco X3 series phones.
Samsung followed Xiaomi with a 20 per cent market share, with budget phones like the Galaxy M02 and Galaxy A32 becoming popular choices for buyers. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S21 series phones also worked well for the brand in India, largely online through its own website.
Other brands like Oppo, Vivo and Realme completed the top 5 brands in terms of market share. Vivo stood at 16 per cent share and shipments were driven by the flagship Vivo X60 series phones. Realme followed with an 11 per cent market share down from 14 per cent last year. Meanwhile, Oppo stood at 11 per cent market share during Q1 2021 with shipments led by the Reno 5 Pro 5G.