Home / Technology / News /  Pandemic forced India’s smartphone shipments down by 48% in Q2

India’s smartphone shipments fell by 48% in the April-June quarter to 17.3 million units shipped, a report by research firm Canalys said. The country had seen 33 million smartphone units being shipped in the same quarter last year. The slowdown was due to the lockdowns enforced by the government to get the covid-19 pandemic under control. Smartphone makers were amongst the many consumer electronics companies who said they would face massive losses due to the shutdowns. The Indian government was forced to shutdown retail stores, deliveries through e-commerce and even manufacturing units.

That said, the positioning of the top smartphone firms didn’t change much during the period. Chinese Xiaomi remained the market leader in India with 31% market share, shipping 5.3 million units in the quarter. The company was followed by fellow Chinese competition, Vivo, which shipped 3.7 million units and had a 21.3% market share, up from 19.9% in Q1, 2020.

Samsung, Oppo and Realme took the next three positions in the top five, respectively. While Samsung shipped 2.9 million smartphones, Oppo shipped 2.2 million, surpassing Realme for the fourth spot. Oppo, Vivo and Realme are all owned by Chinese BBK Electronics. Realme shipped 1.7 million units in the second quarter of this year.

The report is the first real insight into the kind of impact the pandemic has had on the smartphone market in the country. Companies had earlier said that pent-up demand during the shutdowns had helped recover some of the losses. In fact, Xiaomi had earlier said that the company expects greater sales than earlier expected during the Diwali sales this year. “It’s been a rocky road to recovery for the smartphone market in India," said Madhumita Chaudhary, analyst at Canalys.

Companies like Xiaomi, Vivo and others have ventured into offline-to-online (O2O) models in order to augment sales. While the government has allowed offline operations to begin, many retailers have reiterated that business remains down as compared to the months before the pandemic. O2O models allow them to prevent some of the losses they’re taking right now.

The anti-Chinese sentiment in the country may also have affected sales, though companies have reiterated that there are no signs to suggest that


Prasid Banerjee

An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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