India smartphone market witness 4% growth in Q1 2020

India smartphone market witness modest growth, Xiaomi reaches new milestone

Smartphone shipments in India witnessed a modest growth of just 4% in the quarter ending March 2020.

Phone makers were able to sell phones at a brisk pace in January, February, but in March, wherein the lockdown was imposed in the third week, pulled back the growth, thus limiting the total shipments to 31 million units.

Due to recently hiked GST (Goods and Sales Tax) from 12% to 18% and continued lockdown, people are likely to hold off any smartphone purchase until festive season at the end of Q3 (September) industry, is likely to see a decline in demand by 10% for the full calendar year, compared to the previous year.

“The COVID-19 effect on India was relatively mild until mid-March. However, economic activities declined as people save money in expectation of an extended period of uncertainty and an almost complete lockdown. Almost all smartphone manufacturing has been suspended. Further, with the social distancing norms, factories will be running at lower capacities even after the lockdown is lifted. Consumer demand will have a larger impact on smartphone sales, as people will focus on saving and therefore limit discretionary purchases," Prachir Singh, Senior Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said.

On the brighter side, Xiaomi, which registered 6% Year-on-Year growth in Q1 2020, captured 30% market share, highest ever since Q1 of 2018. The company's success was said to be driven by the Redmi Note 8 series.

Must read | Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 review: A top-notch device

On the other hand, Vivo, Samsung came in second and third position with 17-percent and 16-percent share, respectively. While, the new entrant Realme and Oppo finished off in the top five places with 12-percent and 11-percent, respectively.

Smartphone shipments in India in Q1, 2020 (Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service)

China-based Transsion Group which owns brands such as Itel, Infinix, and Tecno reached its highest ever market share in Q1 2020 registering 78% YoY growth. The company made huge inroads in tier 3, tier 4 cities, and rural India. 

Even Poco, which split from Xiaomi as a separate entity in early 2020, was able to capture a respectable 2% in India.

Must read | Poco X2 Review: Back with the X factor

In the niche premium phone segment (Rs 30,000 and more), Samsung replaced OnePlus as the leader. However, arch-rival Apple grew an aggressive 78% YoY in Q1, 2020 in India thanks to the iPhone 11 series.

Must read | iPhone 11 review: The go-to Apple mobile of 2019

In terms of the feature phones market, with a 22% share, Itel leads the pack, followed by Lava, Samsung, Nokia, and Micromax.

Feature phone shipment market share, Q1, 2020 (Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service)

As far as the over-all mobile (smartphones and feature phones) market is concerned, Xiaomi continues to top Samsung.

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