India smartphone market declined by 10% in 2022
According to the International Data Corporation ’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the India smartphone market exited 2022 with 144 million shipments (the lowest since 2019), with a 10% decline YoY (year-over-year). 4Q22 declined 27% YoY as shipments fell to 30 million units. Despite multiple price discounts and channel schemes, high inventory levels after Diwali restricted new shipments.
Dwindling consumer demand due to high inflation remained a challenge throughout the year despite the improved supply situation. The ASP (average selling price) hit a record US$224, rising 18% YoY in 2022. “The entry-level segment (sub-US$150) shrank to 46% of the market, down from 54% a year ago. The dearth of new launches in this critical mass segment was a barrier for new smartphone users, thus limiting the overall market’s growth,” said Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
Key Highlights for 2022:
• Shipments to online channels dropped by 6% YoY, though with a record-high share of 53%. The offline channel declined by 15% YoY.
• 50 million 5G smartphones were shipped during the year with an ASP of US$395 in 2022, down from US$431 in 2021. With more affordable 5G launches expected in 2023, 5G devices should account for around 60% of shipments in 2023.
• The share of MediaTek and Qualcomm-based smartphones dropped while UNISOC’s share doubled to 14%, with significant volumes coming from realme and Samsung in the entry-level 4G segment.
• The mid-premium and premium price segments of US$300-500 and US$500+ grew 20% and 55%, respectively, while the sub-US$300 segment declined by 15%. In the premium segment of US$500+, Apple maintained its lead with a 60% share (iPhone 13 being the 3rd most shipped device in 2022), followed by Samsung with a 21% share.
• 201 million mobile phones were shipped in 2022, clocking a 12% annual decline. Feature phone shipments stood at 57 million, a drop of 18% YoY. Samsung, Xiaomi and Transsion were the leading companies in the total mobile phone market.
4Q22 Top 5 Smartphone Vendor Highlights
Xiaomi maintained its lead but faced high inventory during 4Q22. It had a tough year, with a lean entry-level portfolio and continued dependency on the online channel for the majority of its shipments.
Samsung stood at a close second with a diversified portfolio across price bands and channels: the Galaxy A series in the offline channel, the M and F series in the online channel, and the Galaxy S/Flip/Fold in the premium segment. There were price cuts after Diwali to ease inventory. Samsung continued to lead the 5G segment.
vivo stood at the third position, with well-managed inventories. Despite being an offline-heavy brand, it managed a significant play in the very important online channel with aggressive shipments of its T series and iQOO brand through 2022. It regularly ensured sufficient channel partner schemes, price cuts, and stock clearance.
OPPO climbed to the fourth slot in 4Q22. The affordable A series accounted for the majority of volume, along with a focus on the F and Reno series. OPPO also launched its online-exclusive K series in 2022 to ensure its omnichannel presence.
realme slipped to the fifth slot in 4Q22 as new shipments fell, owing to high inventory from the previous quarter. realme continued to be an online-heavy brand with the majority of volumes from its C series plus affordable 5G models towards the end of the year.
“We should expect a rather difficult and elongated recovery for the smartphone market, as worries around rising prices and excess inventories will remain a concern through at least the first half of 2023. Vendors and channel partners need to rethink their plans for their entry-level portfolios, driving 5G device affordability with attractive trade-in programs and financing schemes, ” says Navkendar Singh, Associate Vice President, Devices Research, IDC.
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