India pre-festival quarter smartphone shipments fall on supply constraints

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NEW DELHI: Smartphone shipments in India fell 5% year-on-year during the third quarter of calendar 2021, according to a report by market research firm Canalys. It said shipments fell to 47.5 million units during the third quarter from around 50 million units sold in the same quarter last year. The drop was attributed to supply constraints that made it difficult for sellers to ship low-end models to the country.

That said, India still saw a 47% sequential rise in shipments. Shipments in April-June were hit by the devastating second wave of of the coronavirus infections in the country, leading to a slowdown in sales for the second time in as many years. Sanyam Chaurasia, analyst at Canalys, said supply constraints are expected to persist into the fourth quarter of the year as well.

“But smartphone brands are striving to minimise the impact on Indian customers and will prioritize online channels where possible to provide a margin buffer that may allow for less price disruption,” Chaurasia added. He also said drop in market shares of predominantly offline brands, like Oppo and Vivo, also contributed to the fall during this quarter.

It noted that the top five players in the market remained the same, although all of their shipment numbers and market shares fell this year. Chinese Xiaomi took the top spot with 11.2 million units and 24% market share, down from 13.1 million shipments and 26.1% market share during the same quarter last year.

Samsung, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo took the next four spots, respectively. The South Korean smartphone maker recorded 9.1 million shipments, while the other three recorded 8.1 million, 7.5 million and 6.2 million shipments, respectively. Interestingly, as the top five sellers saw a drop in their market share, others in the market grew, recording an 11% market share against 5% last year.

American smartphone giant Apple used promotional deals to boost sales momentum for its iPhone 12 models in India, ahead of the launch of iPhone 13 in September, said Jash Shah, another analyst at Canalys. The company didn’t detail Apple’s India market share.

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