Owing to strong sales on online platforms, a research by Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service has revealed that India’s smartphone shipments grew 9 percent YoY to reach over 53 million units in Q3 2020. Samsung overtook Xiaomi to gain the top spot after two years with 32 percent YoY growth during the quarter under review. This strong performance in the pre-COVID levels in Q3 2020 was the result of Samsung’s aggressive push in online channels, with highest ever online contribution within its portfolio.
On the other hand, Xiaomi dropped to second spot for the first time since Q3 2018 with 4 percent YoY decline during the quarter under review. However, Xiaomi will come back strongly in the coming quarter with ramped-up manufacturing, aggressive product strategy and growing offline presence.
The third position was bagged by Vivo with a 4 percent growth YoY in Q3. Mind you! The growth was driven by strong demand for its Y-series models in offline channels. Besides this, Vivo also forayed into the premium market by launching the X50 series along with a gimbal camera in Q3 2020.
In the premium segment (>INR 30,000 ~$400) category, Apple left behind OnePlus owing to strong demand for its iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11. It is likely that the iPhone 12 will further enhance its position in the coming quarter.
As far as affordable premium segment (INR 30,000-INR 45,000 ~ $400-$600) is concerned, OnePlus remained the top brand owing to the sales of OnePlus 8. This handset re-entered the upper mid-tier (Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000 ~ $270-$400) with its Nord series and the OnePlus Nord became the best-selling model within the segment in the initial quarter of launch.
The smartphone players are now putting more emphasis on online channels due to the COVID-19 situation. Furthermore, offline-centric brands like vivo, OPPO and Itel are increasing their online presence due as more and more consumer are adopting online shopping. The smartphone brands are also trying to leverage new opportunities in offline channels in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. For eg: Xiaomi launched ‘Mi store on Wheels’. In addition to this, the brands are focusing on affordability by announcing cashbacks, promotions and offers on devices.
The Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service also notified in its research that Indian brands like Micromax and Lava are expected to leverage the government’s ‘Atma-Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative and plan their comeback. Additionally, a Basic Customs Duty (BCD) of 10 percent was introduced on display modules and touch panels. This will be effective from next quarter. It is believed that this move by the Indian government will impact the cost of production since displays are majorly imported. However, it is expected that it will boost the overall handset manufacturing ecosystem and local sourcing contribution in the long run.
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