Xiaomi has retained the top spot in the Indian smartphone market, according to a report by market researchers Canalys. Samsung also showed strong gains, which was likely helped by a strong roster of budget-premium handsets. In its report, the analysts said that the Indian smartphone market seems to be on its way to a swift recovery. Production disruptions and import delays from the COVID-19 pandemic caused a major slump in the second quarter of 2020 but mobile shipments have turned around to record an 8 percent year-on-year growth in the third quarter. Production disruptions and import delays from the COVID-19 pandemic caused a major slump in the second quarter of 2020 but mobile shipments have turned around to record an 8 percent year-on-year growth in the third quarter, according to a research firm report. An estimated 5 crore units were shipped in the quarter ending in September, which the report says is a new record for smartphone shipments in a single quarter in India.
The Canalys report shows that the pecking order has a few changes, too. Xiaomi is still at the top with 1.3 crore units shipped in Q3 and growing by 9 percent year-on-year but is now followed by Samsung that has managed to regain the second spot selling 1.2 crore units with an aggressive 7 percent growth. The report notes that Samsung's doubling down on its product portfolio and competitive pricing in the budget segment has worked well.
Vivo has slipped to the third spot with 88 lakh units shipped. But the BBK Electronics sub-brand has registered a solid 19 percent growth coming out of a massive second-quarter slump. Realme, a Xiaomi sub-brand, tails Vivo very closely with a shipment of 87 lakh smartphones in the said period. It is followed by another BBK Electronics brand, Oppo, that has recorded a shipment of 61 lakh smartphones to close the top five smartphone sellers in Q3.
Chinese vendors including Xiaomi and BBK make for 76 percent of the total smartphones sold in India. “[The] ongoing tension between India and China has been a hot topic in the past few months, but we have yet to see a significant impact on purchase decisions of mass-market customers,” said Canalys Research Analyst, Varun Kannan.
Apple, with a much smaller, premium portfolio, has also managed double-digit growth in Q3. The brand that aggressively marketed its iPhone SE as a lower entry-point into the coveted Apple ecosystem sold 8 lakh units.
“However, its new iPhone 12 family will be a tough sell in India this year, as network operators do not yet have the infrastructure for mass-market 5G deployment, erasing a key feature of the devices. Not to forget, Apple's pricing strategy for its new iPhones in India needs serious consideration,” says Canalys Research Director, Rushabh Doshi. Pre-order for iPhone 12 and 12 Pro starts in India today.
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