The third wave of Covid-19 and continuing supply chain constraints seem to have affected India’s smart a decline in sales year on year and others seeing muted growth.
The biggest challenge for brands this year will be keeping devices affordable in a price-sensitive market, analysts said.
Counterpoint Research said the country’s smartphone market fell 5% on year in the March quarter while Canalys estimated that the market grew 2% on the year, with 38 million units shipped. A weaker third wave of Covid-19 should have helped India’s smartphone market to return to growth quickly, but the supply remained the biggest challenge for leading Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi and Vivo that struggled to secure components for their volume-driving low-end models.
As per Canalys, Xiaomi continued to be the top vendor in the March quarter with shipments of eight million units, or a market share of 21% (by volume), followed by Samsung with 6.9 million units (18% share), and Realme with six million units (16% share).
Realme delivered the “most vigorous growth” with its shipments rising 40% year-on-year, as per Canalys. Vivo and Oppo completed the top five with 5.7 million and 4.6 million units shipped.
The biggest challenge vendors will face in 2022 will be maintaining device affordability with all-time high oil prices and elevated wholesale inflation at 14.6% in March.
Counterpoint’s research said the 5G smartphone share has increased to 27% in Q1 2022 from 7% in Q1 2021. All the new product launches during the quarter above Rs 20,000 were 5G smartphones. 5G smartphone penetration will increase in the coming quarters and may cross 40% by Q3 2022, says, analysts.