September quarter sees record 50 million phones getting shipped

Yolanda Curtis
October 23, 2020

The smartphone shipments in India posted an 8 per cent growth in units to 50 million units in Q3 of 2020, says research firm Canalys.

It does look like smartphone vendors in India have left the Covid-19 blues behind them. Samsung, which dropped to the third position in India's smartphone market in the first quarter of the year, regained second place from Vivo in the last quarter.

Samsung's aggressive product portfolio and pricing strategy in the low-end paid off as the South Korean giant captured 20.4 per cent share in the India smartphone market.

Though there has been a decrease of 1%, Xiaomi is the #1 smartphone brand in India with a market share of 29%. However, Realme was the fastest-growing smartphone brand, registering a 23% growth compared to the same period a year ago.

Reservations about Chinese phones faded away, with Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo recording higher numbers from the previous year.

It might not be reflected in the table above, but Canalys also noted that Apple delivered double-digit growth in India, delivering almost 800,000 units. Vivo, on the other hand, stood third growing 19% to ship 8.8 million smartphones, while Realme breathed down its neck with 8.7 million units shipped. Oppo was also one of the five largest smartphone manufacturers, with 6.1 million in shipments and 12.1%.

The company has opened a direct online store, giving it several new angles in its go-to-market strategy, such as utilising device trade-ins to provide purchase incentives, or bundling AirPods with iPhones to make them more appealing. "Apple is finally paying attention to India". The company's poor pricing strategy with the iPhone 12s in India and the unavailability of 5G in the country, which is a prime feature in Apple's latest flagship device, might not favor the Cupertino-based company. Chinese smartphones accounted for 74% of all smartphones sold, which is 2% less than in the same period past year. With little options, Chinese brands continued their march in Indian market.

Though the ongoing tension between India and China has been a hot topic the past few months, "we are yet to see a significant impact on purchase decisions of mass market customers", said Varun Kannan, a Research Analyst at Canalys. While nearly all vendors have shown shipment growth, the true winners are the online channels, which have buoyed with a huge influx of devices ahead of the festival season.

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