Technology

India’s smartphone shipments halve due to COVID-19 lockdown

Shipments in the world’s second largest smartphone market shrank 48% in the second quarter 2020 to 17.3 million units compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Canalys | Representational image   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Smartphone shipments in India halved as the world’s third most pandemic-hit nation shut its economy, forcing production halts and import delays.

Shipments in the world’s second largest smartphone market shrank 48% in the second quarter 2020 to 17.3 million units compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Canalys, a data research firm. Samsung was the most affected among the top ten smartphone brands in India as its shipments shrank 60% to 2.9 million units in the same quarter.

Analysis by Canalys. Graph and picture by special arrangement.

Analysis by Canalys. Graph and picture by special arrangement.  

 

“While vendors witnessed a crest in sales as soon as markets opened, production facilities struggled with staffing shortages on top of new regulations around manufacturing, resulting in lower production output,” Madhumita Chaudhary, analyst at Canalys, said in the research note.

India forced the world’s biggest lockdown in March last week to stop the spread of the virus. It allowed the sale of only “essential“ products and services like groceries, pharmacies, and prohibited even online retailers, like Amazon and Flipkart, to stop selling smartphones and other products labelled “non-essential” by the government.

Even after the country relaxed its lockdown restrictions from mid-May production facilities struggled with staffing shortages on top of new regulations around manufacturing, resulting in lower production output, Canalys said.

However, for the Chinese smartphone vendors who dominate the Indian smartphone market with around 80% market share, COVID-19 was not the only obstacle. India’s military stand-off with China in the northern borders triggering “Boycott China” demands, and the country’s self-reliant initiatives pushed Chinese vendors into the eye of the public storm, Adwait Mardikar, Canalys research analyst, noted.

Xiaomi, the market leader with 31% share in the Indian smartphone industry, saw its shipments decline 48% to 5.3 million units in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago.

Apple with a market share of just 1% in the Indian smartphone market suffered the least as its shipments fell 20% to just over a quarter million units. It has planned to diversify its supply chain and pushed its partners Foxconn and Wistron to scale up investments in India.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 4:07:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/indias-smartphone-shipments-halve-due-to-covid-19-lockdown/article32142291.ece

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