India Smartphone Shipments Bounce Back, Chinese Cos See Strong Growth: Canalys
Smartphone shipments recovered in the third quarter of 2020, posting an 8 percent growth to 50 million units. It was also the largest shipment of smartphones in the country recorded in a single quarter, stated the latest smartphone market report by Canalys. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi continued to dominate the charts with a market share of 26.1 percent, therefore posting annual growth of 9 percent annually. Samsung secured the second spot with 20.4 percent of the market in the latest quarter, marking shipment volume growth of 7 percent annually.
The third, fourth and fifth spots include Vivo with 17.6 percent, Realme with 17.4 percent and Oppo with 12.1 percent market share respectively. Notably, all the top ranked OEMs posted positive annual growth in smartphone shipments, marking a turnaround after the Covid-19 pandemic pegged the market back. According to Canalys, when compared to the last quarter of 2019, Vivo's smartphone shipments grew by 12 percent to 8.8 million units, while Realme's shipments increased by 23 percent to 8.7 million units. On the other hand, Oppo posted 6 percent annual growth and shipped 6.1 million units.
The growth in smartphone shipments also indicates a rising demand among people across India who are pushed to work from home amid the pandemic. Similarly, between July and September, several lockdown restrictions were removed by the government (both at centre and state), thereby clearing the way for manufacturers to resume operations after three months of standstill. Noting the recent market trends, the Canalys report adds, "As much of India remains physically disconnected, the smartphone has increasingly become a necessity not only for social connection but also for entertainment, education, banking, payment and more."
The report further states that Apple, which does not feature in the top five list, managed double-digit growth in Q3 2020, shipping nearly 800,000 units. Earlier this year, Apple had launched the iPhone SE (2020), which currently retails at Rs 39,900 for the base 64GB variant and targets the sub-flagship segment of smartphone buyers in the country. While devices such as these, as well as falling prices of older generation flagships such as the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 may have contributed to increased sales, Canalys analysts speculate that the company might find it difficult to sell the recently announced iPhone 12 models in India, due to the unavailability of 5G network in the country.