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Business News/ News / India/  Smartphone, TV makers await festive season high

Smartphone, TV makers await festive season high

Smartphone and television makers expect strong festive sales, driven by higher consumer demand and the cricket World Cup.

The iPhone models 13, 14 and 15 are likely to see most demand as platforms online and offline are likely to give discounts.

New Delhi: Makers of smartphones and televisions expect this year’s festive sales to outshine last year’s, driven by higher consumer demand and the ongoing cricket World Cup. While Xiaomi expects a spike in television sales, premium smartphones, including Apple, are likely to see bumper sales, too.

“The festive season will surely be better than last year for us," Xiaomi’s India president, Muralikrishnan B., said, adding the company has already doubled promotional staff at its stores to over 8,000. “We have rolled out our easy finance option for Redmi 12 smartphones in the offline market, which we piloted in Mumbai," said Muralikrishnan, as Xiaomi increases its focus on physical sales. The brand has a presence in over 20,000 stores in India, including multi-brand outlets and exclusive stores.

Xiaomi, which leads India’s smart TV market, expects the 4K category of smart TVs to get a boost from the World Cup, as well as consumers’ preference for watching the matches on larger, better-quality screens. “The 43-inch 4K TV segment is expected to grow at 10%, and we will grow faster than that. 5G will also help as consumers will get faster internet from fixed wireless access (FWA) services," he noted.

Telecom network providers Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, which offer FWA services, have introduced viewing plans for the World Cup. Jio has multiple prepaid plans bundled with Disney+Hotstar, while Bharti Airtel has launched two plans, including unlimited data for two days priced at 99 and 6GB of additional data with one-day validity for 49.

India is hosting this year’s World Cup after a gap of 12 years. The event, which started on Thursday, will be held at 10 venues across India. Cricket draws consumers across age groups and is set to spur the consumption of fast-food beverages, alcoholic beverages and other packaged foods.

Online commerce marketplace Amazon said the share of large-screen TVs has seen record growth this year.

“We saw demand grow by over 50% year-on-year over the last couple of weeks, fuelled by customers upgrading their TVs in the run-up to the World Cup. We are seeing upgrades to large screen sizes, especially 55 inches, to 4K smart TVs, QLED and OLED panels. Overall, the share of large-screen TVs has seen record growth this year. We expect this trend to continue into the Amazon Great Indian Festival starting 7 October, where we will showcase offers on the widest range of TVs available across the country," said Ranjit Babu, director of wireless & TV at Amazon India.

Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, the exclusive brand licensee of Thomson televisions in India, said the industry is placing hopes on the World Cup after a dull first half. “The television industry needs a boost as the first half of the year was flat; with festive and World Cup together, buying sentiments will change. We estimate a spike of more than 35-40% in large screen sizes, as it will be telecast in FHD and 4K as well. This will be the biggest World Cup in terms of viewership in India, as the OTT platform has decided to make it a free subscription for a couple of matches," he said.

Among smartphones, premium devices—primarily from Apple—are set to perform better than the overall smartphone market, industry watchers said. The festive season between October and December sees peak sales for smartphones.

“The iPhone models 13, 14 and 15 are likely to see most demand as platforms online and offline are likely to give discounts...We’re expecting premium smartphone sales to rise by 34% over last year, compared to a single-digit decline in the overall smartphone market. We’re expecting 9 million iPhones to be sold this year," said Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Research.

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Gulveen Aulakh

Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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