India’s smartphone market posts record drop in Q1: study | Manufacturing Asia
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India’s smartphone market posts record drop in Q1: study

Despite an ongoing market slump, consumers are upgrading to 5G-ready smartphones fast.

India’s smartphone shipments plunged by a record 19% to just 31 million units in the first quarter, marking its third consecutive quarter of decline on weak demand for new devices and as the market faces supply glut, according to a market monitor report by tech research firm Counterpoint.

The growing preference of consumers for refurbished phones also contributed to the overall slowdown, while companies are in a rush to offload their inventory pile-up of old models. 

Counterpoint senior research analyst Shilpi Jain said demand is heavily concentrated during promotional periods with sales dropping dramatically right after promos.

“Channel players are now focusing on getting rid of existing inventory instead of creating a fresh inventory of new models. It is crucial for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to align their strategies with changed consumer and market dynamics,” Jain said.

Despite an overall market slowdown, 5G devices have picked up pace with a 23% surge last quarter that helped bring its market share to 43% for the first time ever. 

Counterpoint expects more consumers will upgrade to 5G phones for the rest of the year and premium models will continue to gain popularity given the affordable financing schemes available in the market.

South Korea’s Samsung remained the top brand for a second consecutive quarter with a 20% market share for the January to March period, followed by China’s Vivo which accounted for 17% of the market.

Apple continued to dominate the ultra-premium segment with iPhones making up 62% of devices priced above INR 45,000.

China’s OnePlus was the fastest growing brand in the subcontinent with a 72% annual growth and a 30% market share last quarter, followed by Apple which grew 50%.

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