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India’s smartphone market shipped a record 21 million units in October: IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) India Monthly Smartphone Tracker, which tracks the monthly shipments into the market, India’s smartphone market registered a massive year-over-year (YoY) growth of 42% in October shipping 21 million units. The growth was driven by multiple online sale festivals and continuing pent up demand from 3Q20. This is the highest ever October shipments and 2nd highest for a month, following 23 million units in September 2020, an all-time high for a single month.

The IDC India Monthly City-Level Smartphone Tracker, which tracks sell-out units (final sale to consumers) for the leading 50 cities of India & the rest of the states, a record 22 million smartphones were sold in October, registering strong YoY growth of 38%, driven by consumer purchases during the pre-Diwali month.

25% of the market sat in top tier cities, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata, registering more than 50% YoY growth in October. E-learning initiatives fueled demand in bigger cities.

The next set of emerging markets, namely Jaipur, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal & Coimbatore, also grew by 50% YoY. However, the rest of the states (up-country markets) registered slower growth (avg. 25%), primarily owing to looming economic concerns and consumer spending narrowing to essentials only.

The leading 50 cities of India accounted for 55% demand nationally. The remainder is in the next set of evolving towns and cities, with huge untapped potential in the up-country geographies (feature phone-heavy markets).

Despite delayed deliveries due to restrictions in several zones, consumers went for online purchases, especially on third party e-Tailer platforms, registering 23% YoY growth with 50% share.

Bigger cities leaned heavily towards online channels, with 57% online share in the top 5 metros. But supply constraints remained, impacting offline channel sales as a result of fewer retail walk-ins.

MOPs (Market Operating Price) stood at US$190 in October, with 68% of the market in the sub-US$200 range. Online channels fueled growth in US$100-200 price segment, clocking in 93% growth YoY, collectively accounting for almost half of the sales in October. Further, Xiaomi was the leading brand in 30 of the top 50 cities within the sub-US$200 segment.

The midrange segment (US$200-300) accounted for almost a fourth of devices sold in October. Samsung led in 36 of the top 50 cities of India.

The premium segment (US$500+) registered 16% YoY growth in October, with Apple leading the market in 49 of the top 50 cities. Further, this segment accounted for 5% market share in the leading 50 cities of India, compared to less than 1% in rest of cities.

“Half a million 5G devices were sold, with almost 80% from the top 10 cities of India. Though 5G is a driver from a technological advancement standpoint, uncertainties on spectrum availability, clear use cases and high prices might restrict its uptake to few bigger cities initially,” says Sachin Mehta, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India.

India Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company, Sell-Out Units in million, Market Share, Year-over-Year Growth, October 2020
Company Oct’20 Sell-Out Volumes Oct’20 Market Share Oct’19 Sell Out Volumes Oct’19 Market Share Year-Over-Year Unit Change (Oct’20 over Oct’19)
1. Xiaomi 5.5 24.8% 9.9 24.7% 38.1%
2. Samsung 4.5 20.6% 3.2 20.0% 42.2%
3. vivo 3.9 17.8% 2.9 17.9% 37.3%
4. realme 3.0 13.8% 2.0 12.8% 48.2%
5. OPPO 2.7 12.3% 1.9 12.1% 40.2%
Others 2.4 10.7% 2.0 12.5% 18.4%
Total 22.0 100.0% 15.9 100.0% 37.9%
Source: IDC India Monthly City Level Sell Out Smartphone Tracker, October 2020 release

CT Bureau

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