The Indian smartphone market grew 9% year-on-year hitting over 53 million units in Q3, the highest evert shipment uptick in a quarter for India, according to Counterpoint Research.
In a statement, the analyst company said the acceleration was due to “pent-up” demand due to lockdown measures, big pushes from manufacturers and leveraging of online sales channels.
Prachir Singh, senior research analyst, said the Indian smartphone market is on a “recovery path” with consistent growth in the past few months, as lockdown measures relax and September being a high sale festive month.
He noted the mid-tier price point (INR10,000 – INR20,000) registered as the highest growth segment.
“Due to the pandemic, Indian consumers have ended up saving on leisure activities. These savings are now being funnelled into smartphone purchases. Additionally, smartphones have become an integral part of consumers’ lifestyle in this changing environment”, added Singh.
Samsung was the leading vendor with 24% market share, followed by Xiaomi (23%), and fellow Chinese company Vivo taking a podium finish (23%).
Chinese manufactures proved to be popular despite sales being impacted by “anti-China consumer sentiments impacting sales of brands”, noted Research Analyst Shilpi Jain.
Rounding off the table were Realme (15%) and Oppo (10%). “These sentiments have subsided as consumers are weighing in different parameters during the purchase”, added Jain.
“The brands have been quite aggressive as they started building up inventory much ahead of the festive season. Focus on online channels has been increasing due to the COVID-19 situation. Even the offline-centric brands like vivo, OPPO and Itel are increasing their online presence due to the changing consumer behaviour.”
The Indian government is pushing local manufacturers to increase production through its Production Linked Incentive scheme, Jain tipped Indian brands such as Micromax and Lava to leverage government initiatives to become more competitive going forward.