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Smartphone brands gear up for the festive season

The Indian smartphone market is witnessing a flurry of activity as brands have started announcing interesting launches and offers to lure consumers during the festive season. Seven new smartphones made their debut in the first ten days of August 2023.

From Samsung’s high-powered Galaxy F34 5G to Poco’s budget-friendly M6 Pro 5G, these devices are leaving their mark on the competitive landscape.

Samsung Galaxy F34 5G – Unveiled on August 7 with a price tag of Rs 18,999, this 5G-enabled smartphone aims to captivate tech enthusiasts with its cutting-edge features and seamless connectivity.

Moto G14 – Launched on August 1 at an affordable price of Rs 9,999, the smartphone is set to attract budget-conscious consumers with its balanced performance and reliable user experience.

Redmi 12 5G – Another August 1 launch, the Redmi 12 5G comes at a price of Rs 11,999, promising lightning-fast data speeds and immersive multimedia capabilities.

Redmi 12 – Launched on August 1, the Redmi 12 enters the market at Rs 9,999, catering to users seeking a blend of functionality and affordability.

Poco M6 Pro 5G – The smartphone made its appearance on August 5, offering 5G connectivity at a price of Rs 10,999, potentially becoming a game-changer in the budget 5G segment.

Infinix GT 10 Pro – Released on August 3 with a higher price point of Rs 19,999, the Infinix GT 10 Pro boasts a blend of performance and style.

OPPO A58 4G – Kicking off the slew of releases on August 8, the OPPO A58 4G arrives with a price of Rs 14,999, targeting users looking for an all-around solid smartphone experience.

Besides theses, Tech giant Apple will reportedly launch the new iPhone 15 series and the next-generation watches on September 12. Being prepared as an in-person launch, pre-orders for the new iPhones will begin on September 15.

Interestingly, this surge in smartphone launches is heralding the arrival of 5G technology to the sub-Rs 10,000 price range, a milestone that Indian consumers have eagerly awaited. Brands are strategically positioning these devices to tap into the market’s appetite ahead of the upcoming festive season.

As the competition intensifies and technology becomes more accessible, Indian consumers can expect more options and features at various price points, ensuring that that there’s something for everyone.

India’s smartphone shipments declined 3% YoY in Q2 2023 (April-June), according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Monthly India Smartphone Tracker. Though this decline was the fourth consecutive quarterly decline, its magnitude reduced significantly, from 19% in Q1 to 3% in Q2. Base effect, pent-up demand and improving macroeconomic conditions helped the market close at less than the expected decline.

However, the premium smartphone segment presented a different picture, growing 112% YoY in Q2 to contribute a record 17% to the overall shipments.

In Q2 2023, OEMs saw improvement in the inventory and demand situation ahead of the coming festive season. Aggressive measures were implemented by OEMs as well as channels during the quarter to clear existing inventory through multiple sales and promotions. At the consumers’ end, falling inflation and better growth prospects facilitated demand recovery. 5G upgrades also played a major role as OEMs kept launching 5G devices in the INR 10,000-INR 15,000 (~$122-$244) segment for a wider reach.

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor

Key insights

  • 5G smartphone growth: In Q2 2023, 5G smartphone shipments in India crossed the 100-million cumulative mark as 5G upgrades picked up pace driven by the expansion of 5G networks and availability of affordable devices. 5G smartphone shipments grew 59% YoY during the quarter.
  • Premiumization trend: The premiumization trend gained momentum as the segment grew at a faster rate of 112% YoY. Rise of a value-based incentive system for retailers, aggressive promotions, availability of credit through various financing schemes, and OEMs’ focussed approach are driving premiumization in India.
  • Channel dynamics: Offline channel share has been growing and is expected to rise to 54% in 2023. Online-heavy brands like Xiaomi, realme and OnePlus are now emphasizing offline expansion to enhance customer engagement and ecosystem development. Samsung and Apple are also increasing their offline presence to cater to diverse consumer preferences. This shift reflects a more comprehensive approach, leveraging both online and offline channels to create a seamless and personalized customer experience.
  • 4G feature phone growth: 4G feature phone share in the overall feature phone shipments increased to 10% in Q2 2023 driven by the JioBharat and itel Guru series’ launch. We believe this share will increase to 18% by the end of 2023. Growing demand for UPI, multiple launches from OEMs and Reliance push will help the segment grow further.
  • Inventory levels: The market was able to exit Q2 2023 with eight weeks of inventory as Xiaomi and realme managed to clear most of their inventory through multiple sales and promotions.
  • Other notable brands which grew during Q2 2023 were Apple (56% YoY), Transsion (34%), Lava (53% YoY) and Nokia (6% YoY).

CT Bureau

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