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Covid-19, inflation lead to third consecutive quarterly decline in India’s smartphone sales

In the 5G segment, Xiaomi managed to finish second with the Mi 11i and the Redmi Note 11T driving volume.

smartphone shipments 2022 Q1
All top-five manufacturers except Realme witnessed a decline in shipments. (Reuters)

Smartphones shipments declined for the third consecutive quarter in India, falling 500 basis points on year in January-March. India’s smartphone shipments fell to 37 million units in the first quarter, International Data Corporation data suggests.

While Xiaomi continued to maintain its leadership position, all top-five manufacturers except Realme witnessed a decline in shipments. The market research company attributed the decline in sales to the third wave of Covid-19, supply-chain disruptions, especially for low-end segments, and rising inflation increasing the cost of ownership across price segments.

Xiaomi shipments declined 1,800 basis points, leading to a decline in share during the quarter. According to the data, the Chinese manufacturer shipped 8.5 million units during the quarter. Its overall share of the market fell to 23.3% from 27.2% in the corresponding year-ago period. However, it continued to dominate the ecommerce channel with a 32% share (including the Poco sub-brand).

Samsung shipped 7 million units, an on-year decline of 500 basis points. The South Korean electronics major, however, managed to grow demand for the Galaxy S22 series. It was also the leader in the 5G segment with 29%.

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Realme became the third-largest vendor, shipping 6 million units and recording an on-year growth of 4,600 basis points. The company had the lowest average selling price of Rs 11,000). It also retained its second place in the online channel with a 23% share.

Vivo shipments fell 1,700 basis points to 5.5 million units. The Chinese company was the leader in the offline channel with 24%. Oppo shipped 3.5 million units, a 2,500-basis point decline.

In the 5G segment, Xiaomi managed to finish second with the Mi 11i and the Redmi Note 11T driving volume.

Upasana Joshi, Researcher Manager (Client Devices) at International Data Corporation India, said 5G accounted for 31% shipments with an average selling price of Rs 29,000.

“IDC estimates that shipments beyond $300 will be fully 5G by the end of 2022.”

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The outlook for smartphone shipments also remains less than robust. Navkendar Singh, Research Director (Client Devices & IPDS) at International Data Corporation India said: “The outlook for 2022 remains cautious from the consumer demand standpoint.”

“Due to rising inflation and lengthening of the smartphone refresh cycle, IDC expects 2Q22 also to remain muted, while smartphone supplies gradually return to normal, resulting in a slower 1H22 compared to 72 million shipments in 1H21.”

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