The Indian smartphone market had a strong third quarter as it bounced back to growth with nearly 54.3 million shipments, according to data from International Data Corporation (IDC). It was also the only smartphone market in the top three countries to witness growth as both China and USA declined.
India saw 17 per cent YoY growth in the smartphone market after reopening of the country. The online channel share reached an all-time high of 48 percent, given more cautious consumers preferred online purchases. In contrast, the offline channel had a more moderate 11 percent growth, and there were still supply constraints here.
Nearly one million units of 5G phones were shipped in the quarter, despite 5G being a long way from officially rolling out in the market. IDC expects a gradual uptake of 5G devices by 2021 in India, and an expansion into the mid-range segment.
The quarter also saw Average Selling Price (ASPs) decline by 2 percent to $156. Shipments in the sub-$200 range (Rs 15,000) were nearly 84 percent, out of which 29 percent were under $100 or Rs 7500. IDC notes this was drop in prices was driven by e-learning requirements given the online schooling system, which has come into place post the pandemic. For many families in India, a smartphone is the only device for internet access. Given the pandemic, it has become the only device for online schooling as well.
The $200 to under $500 segment had a decline as consumers tightened budgets and did not upgrade to more expensive options given economic uncertainties. In the premium segment, (above $500), there was 91 percent year-on-year growth with Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus being the top players.
“IDC expects the low-end and mid-range segment to continue being the volume driver. As consumer sentiment improves in the next few quarters, upgrades and affordable 5G offerings in the $200-500 segment is expected to drive growth,” says Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
But the growth in the third quarter is not expected to make up for the sluggish first half of 2020. “This healthy growth in shipments in 3Q20 is expected to continue through October and early November during the festive months. However, the double-digit growth anticipated for H2’20 may not be able to make up for the challenging first half of the year. IDC expects to exit 2020 with a low single-digit YoY decline after several years of annual growth,” Navkendar Singh , Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India said.
Xiaomi was the top vendor in the Indian smartphone market, despite facing supply constraints. It had a more modest growth of 7 percent year-on-year. Xiaomi’s Redmi 8A Dual, Redmi 8, and Redmi Note 9 were the top three models nationally. The company had a 35 percent share in online channel; its sub-brand POCO managed more than one million shipments as well.
Samsung remained at number two with a much stronger 38 percent growth and shipments reaching 12.1 million units. Interestingly, India is now Samsung’s largest smartphone market globally, and accounts for 15 percent of its global shipments. The South Korean major was also the beneficiary of the anti-Chinese sentiments prevailing in the initial weeks of the quarter, which soon disappeared in the latter half. The online channel accounted for 43 percent of Samsung shipments, with the Galaxy M21 and M31 featuring in the top 5 online models nationally.
vivo stood at third position with shipments of 9 million units and had the top slot in the offline channel with a share of 29%. realme was not far behind at number four with 8 million units and its C11 featured in the top 5 online models nationally. OPPO finished at the fifth position with 6.1 million shipments.
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