India’s smartphone shipments declined 4% in 2020: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 28, 2021 Published on January 28, 2021

Higher demand post-lockdown, strong promotions on online channels and new use cases drove the smartphone market

India’s smartphone shipments declined by 4 per cent Year over Year (YoY) to reach over 150 million units in 2020, according to a report by Counterpoint.

“The high consumer demand post-lockdown, as well as strong promotions on online channels and new use cases like e-learning and work from home, drove the smartphone market in the pandemic-hit year,” the report said.

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India’s mobile handset market also declined 9 per cent YoY in 2020 owing to a decline in feature phone shipments. The feature phone market declined 20 per cent YoY decline “as consumers in this segment were the worst hit by the lockdowns,” the report said.

However, despite the initial setback, the Indian smartphone market witnessed significant growth in Q4 2020. It grew 19 per cent YoY in Q4 2020 as compared to Q4 2019.

“The Indian smartphone market maintained its momentum in Q4 2020 after a record-breaking third quarter. As Diwali was in mid-November this year, we witnessed high shipments during October as well,” Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh said.

“The overall market crossed 150 million units in 2020 driven by high consumer demand post-lockdown. Going forward, we believe that this demand will grow further as more people transition from feature phones to smartphones and feature-rich devices, diffusing towards lower price tiers,” added Singh.

Xiaomi at top

Xiaomi regained its top spot in the Indian smartphone market in Q4 2020 with a 26 per cent market share, followed by Samsung at 20 per cent. Samsung was followed by Vivo, Realme and Poco with 15 per cent,11 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

5G smartphone shipments also crossed 4 million units in India in 2020 driven by Oppo and Apple.

“The anti-China sentiments largely subsided by the end of the year with Chinese brands holding 75 per cent market share in 2020,” said Research Analyst Shilpi Jain.

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“During the year, we saw innovative channel strategies from leading brands due to changed consumer behaviour in the wake of Covid-19. Offline-centric brands such as Samsung, Vivo and OPPO increased their online presence. At the end of the year, we witnessed the return of Indian brands with Micromax announcing its IN-series smartphones. Indian brands are looking to expand their market share by leveraging the PLI scheme,” added Jain.

Globally, the smartphone market declined 1 per cent YoY in Q4 2020. It rose 8 per cent QoQ in Q4 2020, recovering from the global impact of Covid-19, as per the report.

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Published on January 28, 2021
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