COVID-19 | India’s smartphone market to slowdown in 2Q21

Representational image only.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The smartphone industry in the country is expected to witness growth challenges in April-June quarter due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic even as the sector saw a healthy year-on-year growth of 18% to 38 million units shipments in the first quarter (January-March) of 2021, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

However, when compared to strong October-December 2020, the Indian smartphone market declined by 14% in the first quarter.

“The April-June quarter is expected to face growth challenges under the weight of the second wave of infections. However, the high shipments from the first quarter should be able to suffice for the immediate demand,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India, said.

While he added that the impact is estimated to be less pronounced compared with last year, with factories being operational today, only limited restrictions on logistics/transportation and State-level lockdowns instead of a nationwide lockdown, the recovery in 2021 “might not be as smooth as expected earlier, with uncertainty around the lasting impact of the second wave and a possible third wave in next few months.”

IDC expects a rebound in consumer sentiments in the second half of 2021, resulting in a single-digit growth annually. However, the degree of growth will be restricted due to reduced discretionary spending, supply constraints, and anticipated price hikes in components in upcoming quarters, Mr. Singh said.

As per IDC, Xiaomi led the smartphone market during the quarter with 27.2% market share, followed by Samsung (19% market share), vivo (17.3% market share), OPPO (12.2% market share) and realme (10.7% market share).

“Online channels continued their growth momentum ahead of the overall market at 25% YoY, despite a slip in its share to 46% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), while offline channels grew at 13% YoY. However, both the channels started to face higher channel inventory towards the second half of the quarter,” it said.

Additionally, almost 7% of overall shipments were 5G, leading to a 3% YoY increase in average selling price (ASP) to USD 176. The premium segment (over $500), grew 143% YoY, with 71% of those based on 5G. “Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus continued to dominate in that space; the iPhone 11 and 12 together accounted for 28% of shipments; followed by the debut of the Galaxy S21 series and the OnePlus 9 series,” IDC said.

“IDC expects a boost in 5G shipments with more affordable options, stickiness through financing/trade-in programmes and steeper discounts/cashback offers. Additionally, vendors continue to focus on India as a manufacturing hub, which can be seen in their efforts in locally sourcing more components, ongoing investments in R&D capabilities, and adding new surface-mounting lines to cater to the growing local demand as well as for exports from India,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said.

Separately, feature phone shipments declined by 8% YoY, despite Reliance Jio launching its new 4G device bundled with telco offers. However, the 2G segment witnessed 3% growth driven by iTel and Lava.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:29:42 PM |

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