Covid-19 has impacted the Indian smartphone market in Q2 2020 – in a bad way. According to the latest report coming from Counterpoint Research India’s smartphone shipments declined by 51 per cent YoY to just over 18 million units in Q2 2020. The fall in shipments is clearly due to the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Indian government to combat Covid-19 that resulted in zero shipments during April.
The market has, however, is starting to return to normal, the report stated. In June, the Indian smartphone shipments registered a “mild decline of 0.3 per cent YoY” and this due to the “pent-up demand as well as a push from brands”.
Manufacturers are pushing more inventory to online channels as consumers prefer contactless purchasing over offline shopping. “Online channel share reached the highest ever level, accounting for almost 45 per cent of sales, a second-quarter record. Consumers preferred contactless purchases and social distancing,” the report noted.
The report also showed that the contribution of Chinese brands fell to 72 per cent in Q2 2020 from 81 per cent in Q1 2020 and this is due to two reasons – first, “stuttering supply for some major Chinese brands such as OPPO, Vivo and Realme” and second, growing anti-China sentiments and delay in imports of goods from China.
Despite supply constraints and rising anti-China consumer sentiment towards China” Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market in Q2 2020 thanks to models like Redmi 8A dual, Redmi Note 8 Pro, and Redmi Note 8.
Samsung, on the other hand, recovered fastest as it reached 94 per cent of pre-Covid levels becoming the second largest brand in Q2 2020. “The brand closely followed Xiaomi, increasing its share to 26 per cent in Q2 2020 from 16 per cent during the last quarter,” the report stated.
“Revamping the M-series and launching it in offline channels together with new schemes like Samsung Care+ helped the brand to further to restore its position in the Indian market. Samsung also has a diversified supply chain compared to its competitors, which helped it to maintain a steady flow of components. It was the first brand to reach almost full manufacturing capacity by the end of June.”
According to the report, “Vivo was also able to manage post lockdown demand well as it exited the quarter with 60 per cent pre-Covid levels.” The company also managed to ramp up its production output post lockdown. “The launch of its flagship V19 and adding more smartphones like Y50, Y30 to its Y-series portfolio helped the brand to recover fast in June.”
Realme continued to maintain the fourth position but the company witnessed its share decline to 11 per cent due to manufacturing constraints as a result of shut down of the factory for almost all of May. However, the company’s newly launched Narzo series performed well in the budget segment. Oppo struggled during the quarter due to supply constraints but managed to gain mind share by entering the ultra-premium segment >INR 45000 ~ $600) with the launch of its 5G flagship, Find X2 series and attractive hearables lineup.
OnePlus regained the top position in the premium market >Rs 30000 ~$398 with its newly launches OnePlus 8 series. Apple remained the leading brand in the ultra-premium segment >Rs 45000 ~ $600 driven by iPhone 11 shipments, though the company said to have lost some share to OnePlus.
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