This year, for the second year in a row, online smartphone sales in the country will continue to surpass offline sales in the October – December quarter, led by the blockbuster annual festive season sales of the top two e-commerce marketplace giants Flipkart and Amazon, beginning today.

Last year, for the first time, of the 36 million smartphones that were estimated to be sold, 19.1 million were from online sales, dominated by the top two e-tailers.

The quarter is also expected to see 2G and 3G smartphone users as well as feature phone users upgrade to 4G smartphones across several parts of the country, thanks to the exchange offers, buy now pay later deals, discounts on bank credit/debit cards, cashbacks and no cost EMIs, that are being offered by Flipkart and Amazon.

“This festival season, from October to December, is expected to witness the overall sale of 39 million smartphones, with 21 million being sold online. Of this, nearly 10 million smartphones are expected to be sold in Amazon and Flipkart’s 6-day festive season sales from Sept 29 – Oct 4, up from 8.5 million smartphones sold during the same festive season sales last year” said Faisal Kawoosa, founder and Chief Analyst of research and consulting firm, techARC.

Stating that smartphone sales this year will be driven by consumers upgrading to 4G smartphones from existing 2G and 3G smartphones across several parts of the country, Kawoosa said “If these online sales platforms - Amazon and Flipkart, play their marketing and advertising strategy well, they can significantly drive increase in overall 4G smartphone installed base across the country.

However, it has to be primarily focused at states like West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka where installed base of non-4G smartphones is still above 30 per cent.”

Of the 10 million smartphones that techARC estimates to be sold during the festive season period, 6 million will be new additions to the 4G smartphone user base coming from users of 2G, 3G smartphones and Feature phone users.

Since smartphone sales contribute to around 50 – 55 per cent of the overall sales on e-commerce marketplaces, both Amazon and Flipkart go to great lengths to partner with top smartphone brands to offer high quality deals at affordable price points, covering the entire price spectrum from budget to mid-market and luxury segments in readiness for the biggest Diwali festival season sale of the year.

What the big e-tailers have to offer

“Our biggest differentiator this year is the iconic selection on sale – we launched Samsung new phones Galaxy M30s, M10s, OnePlus 7T, Apple’s XR at a never before price of Rs 39,990 which sold at Rs 73,990 four months back; offering a selection starting at Rs 4,999 up to Rs 1 lakh” Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Category Management at Amazon India told BusinessLine.

“Smartphone brands are lining up their new model launches in time for the festive season sale. Exchange offers are doing very well and this year we are offering same day delivery too” he said. Amazon has lined up 8 smartphone launches for the sale.

Flipkart is offering lowest prices of the year on the latest phones including the Samsung S9 at Rs 29,999, Redmi Note7 Pro starting from Rs 10,999 only, Vivo Z1 Pro at Rs 12,990, Realme C2 from Rs 5,999 and Honor 8C at as low as Rs 7,999 and its “biggest offer of the season” the iPhoneX at Rs 44,999, along with other deals on Samsung, Pixel, Oppo, Asus, Nokia and LG.

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