After a weak quarter due to coronavirus-inflicted nationwide lockdown, the Indian smartphone market has bounced back registering a record for smartphone shipments in a single quarter. The smartphone shipments in India posted an 8 per cent growth in units to 50 million units in Q3 of 2020, says research firm Canalys.
"Smartphone vendors are definitely bullish. The government, slowly but surely reducing restrictions on movement after a three-month lockdown, has created the perfect atmosphere for sustained growth. While almost all vendors have shown positive shipment growth, the true winners are the online channels, who have been buoyed with a huge influx of devices ahead of the festive season. Ongoing sales at Amazon and Flipkart are a clear indication that despite the economic downturn, India's penchant for a good smartphone, and a good bargain, remains intact," says Canalys Analyst, Adwait Mardikar.
Xiaomi continued to be the market leader with 13.1 million units, registering 9 per cent growth. Korean smartphone company Samsung regained second place once again with 10.2 million units and 7 per cent growth. Samsung's aggressive product portfolio and pricing strategy in the low-end paid off. Vivo stood third, growing 19 per cent to ship 8.8 million smartphones, whereas Realme was on the fourth spot with 8.7 million units and Oppo on firth with shipped. Oppo completed the top five, shipping 6.1 million units. Collectively, Chinese vendors comprised 74 per cent of total smartphone shipments this quarter, which has grown from 70 per cent in the same quarter a year ago.
"Ongoing tension between India and China has been a hot topic in the past few months, but we have yet to see a significant impact on purchase decisions of mass-market customers. However, the tensions have caused Chinese smartphone brands to act more conservatively in recent months, reducing their marketing spend, and carefully trying to project the image that they are important contributors to, and stakeholders in, the economic future of India," explains Canalys Research Analyst, Varun Kannan.
Even though not in the top five spots, Apple regained momentum in India in Q3, with double-digit growth to nearly 800 thousand units. "Apple is finally paying attention to India. It has opened a direct online store, giving it several new angles in its go-to-market strategy, such as utilizing device trade-ins to provide purchase incentives, or bundling AirPods with iPhones to make them more appealing," says Canalys Research Director, Rushabh Doshi. While the iPhone 12 series pricing is on the higher side, the discounted prices of the iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11 are likely to help Apple sell more units.