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Supply constraints drove pre-festive quarter smartphone shipments down in India

Supply constraints drove pre-festive quarter smartphone shipments down in India
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
21 Oct, 2021

Smartphone shipments in India fell by 5% year-on-year during the third quarter in 2021, according to a report by market research firm Canalys. The company said that shipments fell to 47.5 million units during the third quarter, falling from around 50 million units last year. The drop was attributed to supply constraints that made it difficult for smartphone sellers to ship low-end models to the country.

That said, the country still saw a 47% rise in shipments as compared to the second quarter of the year. Second quarter shipments were hit by the second wave of covid infections in India, leading to a slowdown in sales for the second time in as many years. Sanyam Chaurasia, analyst at Canalys, said that supply constraints are expected to persist into the fourth quarter of the year as well.

“But smartphone brands are striving to minimize the impact on Indian customers and will prioritize online channels where possible to provide a margin buffer that may allow for less price disruption,” Chaurasia added. He also said that drops in market shares of predominantly offline brands, like Oppo and Vivo, also contributed to the drop during this quarter.

Further, the company noted that the top five players in the market remained the same, although all of their shipment numbers and market shares dropped this year. Chinese Xiaomi took the top spot with 11.2 million units and 24% market share, down from 13.1 million shipments and 26.1% market share during the same quarter last year.

Samsung, Vivo, Realme and Oppo took the next four spots, respectively. The South Korean smartphone maker recorded 9.1 million shipments, while the other three recorded 8.1 million, 7.5 million and 6.2 million shipments, respectively. Interestingly, as the top five sellers dropped market share, other players in the market grew, recording 11% market share against 5% last year.

Notably, American smartphone giant Apple used promotional deals to increase the momentum for its iPhone 12 models in India, ahead of the iPhone 13 launch in September, said Jash Shah, another analyst at Canalys. The company didn’t say what Apple’s exact market share in India is.