While India is still some time away from rolling out the 5G network, smartphone companies are aggressively increasing their 5G portfolio. Consumers, too, are future proofing their purchases, contributing to the robust demand. As a result, 5G smartphone shipments are expected to hover around the 10 million unit mark in the October-December quarter (Q4) of 2021. For perspective, the comparable expected number for 4G smartphones is 34 million. “We anticipate a very marginal impact arising from chip shortage, as major smartphone OEMs have prioritised 5G in their India strategy. However, increased input costs could lead to higher ASPs (average selling prices). Going forward, we foresee stronger growth for 5G in 2022,” says Anand Priya Singh, Analyst–Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR).
What is also helping is that 5G smartphones are getting increasingly affordable. Value-for-money smartphones priced at Rs 7,000-24,000 are the most popular, accounting for around 50 per cent share of shipments; premium 5G smartphones priced at Rs 25,000-50,000 are at 40 per cent. The Q4 predictions follow momentum witnessed in Q3 (June-September) 2021, where 5G smartphones, at 10.3 million shipments, accounted for 22 per cent of India’s overall smartphone market. And as the smartphone brands, including OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Samsung and Vivo, prioritised 5G smartphones, collectively they shipped 5G smartphones in excess of $3 billion in Q3. Amongst the models, Vivo Y72 and OnePlus Nord 2 were the most shipped 5G models in Q3 2021. Apple’s new iPhone 13 series and the now aggressively-priced iPhone 12 series, too, are all 5G-enabled.
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