Smartphone shipments in India dropped by 13 percent in the second quarter of 2021 to 32.4 million units, as per a report by Canalys. A total of about 32.4 million smartphone units were shipped in the quarter. However, the year-on-year comparison was extremely favourable due to the two-month shutdown in 2020, with shipments up by 87 per cent. The report further adds that signs of recovery had emerged by the end of the quarter as consumer confidence increased due to vaccination programs in key localities.
“India was taken by surprise by its second wave, as the new COVID variant emerged and took hold quickly,” Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said. “For smartphone vendors, this was a wake-up call, and shows the importance of bolstering both online and offline presences equally,” Chaurasia added.
“Smartphone vendors in India had assumed COVID-19 would not return, and several planned to invest in infrastructure for branded stores and partnerships with third-party offline channels. But once again they were quickly compelled to pivot to an online strategy,” he said.
Xiaomi remained the market leader, shipping 9.5 million units for a 29 per cent share. Samsung stayed in second place, shipping 5.5 million units for a 17 per cent share. Vivo was third with 5.4 million units shipped, while Realme overtook Oppo for fourth place, shipping 4.9 million units against the latter’s 3.8 million shipments. The reports also added that brands that succeeded in the online space were the ones to carry the most momentum in the quarter.
Chaurasia adds that “India will rebound in the second half of 2021, aided by accelerated vaccinations, as well as brands expanding promotional activities and new product releases.”
However, he cautioned that “the second half will not see a surge in pent-up demand like last year,” and that the threat of a third wave still looms in India.