Pedestrians walk past a Xiaomi Corp. Store and a Samsung Electronics Co. store in Mumbai, India.
Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg | Getty Images
According to research company Canalys, smartphone manufacturers shipped around 32.4 million devices in India between April and June.
That was about 13% fewer phones shipped compared to the three months before. A devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India between February and May resulted in regional lockdowns and economic disruptions that ultimately stifled smartphone demand.
“Smartphone vendors in India had anticipated Covid-19 would not return and several were planning to invest in infrastructure for branded business and partnerships with third-party offline channels,” Sanyam Chaurasia, analyst at Canalys, said in a statement . “But once again they were quickly forced to switch to an online strategy.”
On an annual basis, smartphone shipments rose 87% as India was largely under strict national lockdown from April to June last year.
Xiaomi still in pole position
Xiaomi stayed at the top, holding a 29% stake in one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, according to Canalys. The Chinese smartphone maker, which recently overtook Apple in second place worldwide, has shipped 9.5 million devices in India.
Online sales received a boost from the Redmi Note 10 series, Canalys said in his report.
Samsung remained in second place with a 17% share of the Indian market. 5.5 million devices were shipped between April and June, hardly surpassing Vivo’s 5.4 million units.
Vivo, Realme and Oppo rounded off the top 5 with a total of more than 14 million devices shipped as Chinese vendors maintained their dominance in the Indian smartphone market. They have built their presence over the years by selling relatively high quality smartphones at cheaper prices than the premium devices from Samsung and Apple.
Signs of recovery
Canalys said there were signs of a rebound in the market towards the end of the second quarter as India’s aggressive vaccines boosted consumer confidence in key areas. The research company expects a recovery in the second half of the year as brands expand their promotional activities and launch new devices.
“But the pent-up demand will not increase in the second half as it did last year. A third wave is still looming in India, but as the behavior of citizens and industries continue to adapt to pandemic conditions, its impact should be minimal. “Said Chaurasia.
According to the research company, smartphone manufacturers are also likely to face challenges such as rising costs, limited supplies of parts – such as memory chips – rising shipping costs, and a difficult economic environment.
Chaurasia explained that the lack of components increases the risk of regional deprioritization, where smartphone makers could seek to reallocate their limited device supplies to more lucrative high-end markets.