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 Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

India’s smartphone market recovers, setting all-time quarter record

  • After a brief stay on top of the market, Samsung has returned to the second spot with Chinese Xiaomi retaining the top spot

New Delhi: Smartphone shipments in India recovered in the third quarter of 2020, as brands came out of the pandemic-driven supply chain issues and prepared for big festive sales by online channels. According to a report by market research firm Canalys, the market grew by 8% in Q3, 2020 to 50 million units. This is a record for shipments in a single quarter for India.

After a brief stay on top of the market, Samsung has returned to the second spot. Chinese Xiaomi retains the top spot, with BBK Electronics-owned Vivo, Realme and Oppo in third, fourth and fifth positions. Samsung’s shipment numbers had come out ahead of Xiaomi in August, thanks to pandemic driven slowdowns and more stringent checking of Chinese shipments in India.

According to Canalys, Xiaomi owns 26.1% market share in the country, followed by Samsung’s 20.4% and Vivo’s 17.6%. The top five smartphone makers in India, which consists of four Chinese brands and Samsung, own just under 94% of the market share in India.

Chinese vendors make up 76% of the total shipments in India, but with growing nationalist sentiments they have reduced spending on marketing and are “carefully trying" to sell themselves as “important contributors to, and stakeholders in, the economic future of India".

Interestingly, Samsung isn’t the only premium brand that has been gaining in India. Canalys’ report says tech giant Apple posted “double-digit" growth in India, reaching nearly 800,000 shipments in Q3, 2020. Research Director, Rushabh Doshi, noted that Apple is taking India seriously again, but may still have trouble selling the new iPhone 12 series here, thanks to lack of 5G networks and high pricing.

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