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India's smartphone shipments hit over 150 million units in 2020
New Delhi, Jan 27 - India's smartphone shipments declined by a modest 4 per cent year-on-year (yoy) to reach over 150 million units in 2020, according to a new report on Wednesday.
The high consumer demand post-lockdown, as well as strong promotions on online channels and new uses cases like e-learning and work from home, drove the smartphone market in the pandemic-hit year, said the latest research from Counterpoint's Market Monitor service.
"The Indian smartphone market maintained its momentum in Q4 2020 after a record-breaking third quarter. As Diwali was in mid-November this year, we witnessed high shipments during October as well. The overall market crossed 150 million units in 2020 driven by high consumer demand post-lockdown," Prachir Singh, a senior research analyst said in a statement.
According to the report, India's mobile handset market declined 9 per cent yoy in 2020 due to a decline in feature phone shipments.
The feature phone market registered a 20 per cent yoy decline in 2020 as consumers in this segment were the worst hit by the lockdowns. However, Itel grew 26 per cent yoy in the feature phone segment and became the market leader in 2020.
Xiaomi recaptured the top spot in Q4 2020 with a strong 13 per cent yoy growth. Ramped-up production through partnerships with more EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) players.
Samsung slipped to the second position in Q4 2020 but exhibited a strong 30 per cent yoy growth. Overall, 2020 has been a great year for Samsung as it recaptured the second spot in the Indian market.
Meanwhile, Vivo remained the top offline player in 2020. However, it declined 13 per cent yoy due to high exposure to the offline market, which was impacted by the pandemic in 2020.
Realme grew 22 per cent in 2020 and crossed the 20 million units mark for the first time.
OPPO shipments grew 11 per cent yoy last year while remaining flat in Q4 2020, driven by the demand for its recently launched A12 and A53 models.
Poco crossed 2.5 million smartphone units for the first time in Q4 2020 driven by its M2, M2 Pro and C3 models.
Transsion Group brands (Itel, Infinix and Tecno) kept the momentum in Q4 2020 as well, registering their highest-ever shipments in a single quarter at over 9 million units.
Apple captured the sixth spot in Q4 2020 with 171 per cent yoy growth in Q4 and 93 per cent yoy growth in 2020.
The launch of the iPhone 12, aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion drove this growth. For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter.
In addition, OnePlus experienced 200 per cent yoy growth in Q4 2020 driven by its mid-range Nord series and the newly launched 8T series.
2020 brought unexpected changes in the Indian smartphone industry due to Covid-19, anti-China sentiments, and developing manufacturing ecosystem. These also marked the re-entry of Indian brands like Micromax.
With Indian brands revamping their portfolios, and Jio coming up with an entry-level 4G smartphone, 2021 will be a significant year for Indian brands and we expect their share to increase.
In 2020, 5G smartphone shipments crossed 4 million units in India. These shipments were driven by two brands - OnePlus, the only brand with a 100 per cent 5G portfolio, and Apple, which launched the iPhone 12 series with 5G connectivity. Going forward, 5G smartphone shipments are expected to increase by more than nine times to reach 38 million units in 2021.
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