Covid drains smartphone shipments

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 12, 2021

Sequentially down 14% in Jan-March quarter: IDC

The Indian smartphone market declined by 14 per cent during the January to March quarter compared to the previous quarter sequentially, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The onset of the second wave of Covid-19 in the country has negatively impacted the consumer market as the inventory cycle, which had shrunk earlier in the second half of 2020, started to get longer since middle of February this year.

“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. But IDC estimates the impact to be less pronounced compared with last year, with factories being operational today and only limited restrictions on logistics/transportation and State-level lockdowns instead of a nationwide lockdown”, said Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.

On a year-to-year basis, smartphone shipments recorded an 18 per cent growth between January and March with shipments totalling 38 million units.

“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,” added Singh.

In terms of chipsets, MediaTek-based smartphone shipments continued to lead for three consecutive quarters with a share of 52 per cent, widening the gap with Qualcomm, with 35 per cent share.

Xiaomi keeps lead

Nearly 7 per cent of overall shipments were 5G, leading to a 3 per cent y-o-y increase in average selling price to $176. Further, the premium segment ($500+), grew 143 per cent y-o-y, with 71 per cent of those based on 5G. Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus continued to lead in the premium market. Separately, feature phone shipments declined by 8 per cent y-o-y even as 2G segment witnessed 3 per cent growth, driven by iTel and Lava. In the overall smartphone market, Xiaomi continued to lead with a 27.2 per cent market share despite only posting 3 per cent y-o-y growth. Three of the top 5 models nationally were the Redmi 9/9A/9 Power, accounting for 10 per cent of the overall shipments. Mi10i was the leading 5G model in 1Q21.

Also, the top 8 online models were from Xiaomi/POCO, with a 30 per cent contribution, as per IDC. Samsung gained a 19 per cent market share, retaining its second spot. It recorded a 43 per cent y-o-y growth in Q1 21 followed by Vivo, Oppo and Realme with a 17.3 per cent, 12.2 per cent and 10.7 per cent market share, respectively.

Published on May 11, 2021

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