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Increasing usage of smartphones and hand-held devices have contributed to the growth of online education. (Mint)
Increasing usage of smartphones and hand-held devices have contributed to the growth of online education. (Mint)

India ships record 21 million smartphones in October: IDC

  • Xiaomi was the top brand in October with a 24.8% share, while Samsung followed close accounting for 20.6% of smartphones sold in October. Apple was the market leader in the premium segment with robust shipments of iPhone XR and iPhone 11

NEW DELHI: India shipped 21 million smartphones in October, making it the highest ever shipments for the month and second highest in a single month in calendar year 2020, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). In September, 23 million units were shipped.

Though shipments stood at 21 million, total number of units sold in October was 22 million based on final sell out units tracked by IDC. It includes units shipped during the previous month.

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October shipments grew 42% year-on-year (YoY) while unit sales grew 38%. The growth was largely driven by prolonged online sales during the festival season and continued pent up demand from the September quarter, as per IDC.

Around half a million of the smartphones shipped in October were 5G ready, indicating an increase in consumer interest in the new technology, even though services are yet to to be rolled out in India.

"Half a million 5G devices were sold, with almost 80% from the top 10 cities of India," Sachin Mehta, market analyst, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

Mehta pointed out, "though 5G is a driver from a technological advancement standpoint, uncertainties on spectrum availability, clear use cases and high prices might restrict its uptake to few bigger cities initially."

Tier 1 cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata accounted for 25% of the smartphone demand, growing at over 50% YoY. Most of the demand was fuelled by e-learning. Demand in emerging markets such as Jaipur, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, and Coimbatore grew 50% YoY.

Demand in smaller towns grew relatively slower at 25%, due to economic concerns and customers cutting down on discretionary spending.

"With the smartphone market still concentrated around the leading 50-70 cities of India, the industry must address the untapped potential in the lower tier cities with affordable entry-level offerings to offset the large feature phone base and ensure steady YoY organic growth in upcoming years," Upasana Joshi, associate research manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

Online channels remained popular and despite delayed deliveries, buyers preferred third party e-tailer platforms, resulting in a 23% YoY growth and 50% share.

Bigger cities leaned heavily towards online channels. Offline channels grew mostly in smaller cities.

In terms of unit sales, Xiaomi remained the top brand in October with 24.8% share with Samsung close behind accounting for 20.6% of smartphones sold in October. Apple was the market leader in premium ($500+) segment with robust shipments of iPhone XR and iPhone 11.

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