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Top phone sellers see India shipments decline, even as market grows

Top phone sellers see India shipments decline, even as market grows
Photo Credit: Pixabay
11 Feb, 2022
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The top three smartphone vendors in India all saw their shipments decline through 2021 even as the market witnessed a single-figure growth, according to data from market research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC). Analysts said that the reason behind a flatter than usual year for the Indian smartphone market is the continuing global supply crisis of components, as well as the impact of the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic.

Data published by IDC India earlier today stated that Xiaomi, which continues to be the number one smartphone brand in India, saw a 1.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) shipment decline through 2021, to ship 40.4 million units. Samsung is reported to have shipped 6 percent fewer devices in comparison to 2020, with a figure of 27.9 million units for 2021. Vivo, meanwhile, saw 6.1 percent YoY decline in 2021 to ship 25.1 million devices.

This suggests that while the top three smartphone brands in India remained the same, they all saw deductions in shipments through the year – even as the overall market grew. Other reports, however, differ slightly from IDC’s data.

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For instance, Counterpoint Research’s report for the Indian smartphone market in 2021 suggested that Xiaomi and Vivo’s shipments remained largely flat, but still grew by 2 percent each. Samsung, meanwhile, was noted to have seen an 8 percent YoY decline in shipments.

Realme is the only brand that saw double-digit growth through 2021. IDC India states that the company saw a 25.7 percent growth in its shipments, while Counterpoint pegs its growth at 20 percent. CMR, another market research firm, stated that Realme grew by 23 percent in the Indian market – and also overtook Vivo in the process.

Navkendar Singh, research director at IDC India, said, “Supply challenges and the second wave of covid-19 severely restricted the market’s ability to achieve double-digit growth in 2021. Consumer demand is lower than expected as we entered 2022, but supply challenges are expected to ease by mid-2022, which should help in maintaining similar growth levels in 2022.”

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IDC data also stated that online sales were slightly higher than sales in offline channels through 2021. Alongside the pandemic, a wide range of offers in the online marketplaces drove this figure. It also noted Apple has having had a record year in India – which analysts believe can be the trend in 2022 as well.