India Smartphone Market Declined for the First Time in 2020: IDC

Following years of growth, the smartphone market in India saw a decline for the first time in 2020, marking a year-on-year (YoY) decline of 1.7 percent, according to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC). The market exited 2020 (January to December) at 150 million units shipped. The lockdowns, restrictions, and shutdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak is cited as the primary reason for the dip by the market research agency. Despite showing a negative YoY growth in 2020, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi managed to grab the most market share in both Q4 2020 and 2020 total.

“Stay-at-home mandates, remote work, remote education, travel restrictions, and manufacturing shutdowns led to a sluggish H1’20 (-26 percent YoY decline), particularly impacting 2Q20,” IDC reported on Monday. However, despite the slow first half, the Indian smartphone market did manage to recover in the second half when markets gradually began reopening, posting a YoY growth of 19 percent, as per IDC. Consumer devices such as smartphones, notebooks, and tablets particularly saw a resurgence as more users adapted themselves to remote learning, working from home, and at-home entertainment.

IDC noted that 5G smartphone shipments crossed three million in 2020 as Chinese OEMs rolled out “aggressively-priced” units throughout the year, However, the adoption rate was less-than-desired, mainly due to the lack of a proper 5G network and high prices of 5G phones. IDC said that in India, 5G network roll out is expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

India’s smartphone market took a notable dip in 2020
Photo Credit: IDC

In terms of market shares, IDC reported that Xiaomi led the tables with 27 percent (12 million units shipped) in Q4 2020, and the same share for the whole year (41 million units). The smartphone giant saw a Q4 YoY growth of 12 percent, however its overall YoY growth in 2020 was -6 percent. Samsung ranked second, with a Q4 2020 market share of 17 percent (7.7 million units), but an annual market share of 20 percent (29.7 million units). Samsung’s overall 2020 YoY growth was posted at -4 percent.

Vivo ranked third with 17 percent Q4 market share (7.6 million units), an 18 percent annual share (26.7 million units), and 12 percent overall YoY growth. Realme took the fourth place with 12 percent Q4 market share (5.2 million units), 11 percent annual share (19.2 million units), and 19 percent overall growth in 2020. Oppo occupied the fifth berth with 11 percent Q4 market share, 11 percent annual share (16.5 million units), and one percent overall growth in 2020.

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