Chinese Brands Shine As India's Smartphone Market Shipments Hit 150 Million Units: Report
“The anti-China sentiments largely subsided by the end of the year with Chinese brands holding 75% market share in 2020”
India’s smartphone shipments declined by 4% year-on-year (YoY) to reach over 150 million units in 2020, according to a new report.
The high consumer demand post-lockdown, as well as strong promotions on online channels and new use cases like e-learning and work from home, drove the smartphone market in the pandemic-hit year, said the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, stated the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.
“The Indian smartphone market maintained its momentum in Q4 2020 after a record-breaking third quarter. As Diwali was in mid-November this year, we witnessed high shipments during October as well. The overall market crossed 150 million units in 2020 driven by high consumer demand post-lockdown,” Prachir Singh, a senior research analyst said in a statement.
India’s mobile handset market declined 9% YoY in 2020 due to a decline in feature phone shipments, according to the report.
The feature phone market registered a 20% YoY decline in 2020 as consumers in this segment were the worst hit by the lockdowns. However, Itel grew 26% YoY in the feature phone segment and became the market leader in 2020.
“The anti-China sentiments largely subsided by the end of the year with Chinese brands holding 75% market share in 2020,” said research analyst Shilpi Jain on the impact of anti-China sentiment on the Indian market.
Xiaomi recaptured the top spot in Q4 2020 with a strong 13% YoY growth. The Chinese phone maker ramped-up production through partnerships with more EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) players.
Samsung slipped to the second position in Q4 2020 but exhibited a strong 30% YoY growth. Overall, 2020 has been a great year for Samsung as it recaptured the second spot in the Indian market.
Vivo, another Chinese firm, remained the top offline player in 2020. However, it declined 13% YoY due to high exposure to the offline market, which was impacted by the pandemic in 2020.
Apple captured the sixth spot in Q4 2020 with 171% YoY growth in Q4 and 93% YoY growth in 2020. The launch of the iPhone 12, aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion drove this growth. For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter.
In addition, OnePlus experienced 200 per cent yoy growth in Q4 2020 driven by its mid-range Nord series and the newly launched 8T series.
In 2020, 5G smartphone shipments crossed 4 million units in India. These shipments were driven by two brands — OnePlus, the only brand with a 100 per cent 5G portfolio, and Apple, which launched the iPhone 12 series with 5G connectivity. Going forward, 5G smartphone shipments are expected to increase by more than nine times to reach 38 million units in 2021.