Jain says this creates advantage for Samsung and local players in the segment. “This development has given a window of opportunity for brands like Samsung and local Indian brands such as Micromax and Lava, to recapture market share. Further, Jio-Google’s partnership to bring a highly affordable 4G Android smartphones could also gain ground, banking on the growing #VocalforLocal sentiment,” adds Jain.
As per the report, India’s smartphone shipments declined by 51% year-on-year to just over 18 million units in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2-2020). The nationwide lockdown imposed to combat COVID-19 resulted in zero shipments during April. However, the market is starting to return to normal. In June 2020, Indian smartphone shipments registered a mild decline of 0.3% YoY, thanks to the pent-up demand as well as a push from brands.
Samsung recovered the fastest as it reached 94% of pre-COVID levels, becoming the second largest brand in Q2 2020. The brand closely followed Xiaomi, increasing its share to 26% in Q2 2020 from 16% during the last quarter. Revamping the M-series and launching it in offline channels together with new schemes like Samsung Care+ is said to have helped the brand to further restore its position in the Indian market. Samsung also has a diversified supply chain compared to its competitors, which helped it to maintain a steady flow of components. It was the first brand to reach almost full manufacturing capacity by the end of June, as per Counterpoint Research.
Overall, Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market followed by Samsung, Vivo, Realme and Oppo in the same order. Incidentally, none of these Chinese brands have seen their market share fall.
India is home to more than 350 million feature phone users and the feature phone market was the worst affected segment as it declined by a massive 68% YoY in Q2 2020 as consumers in this highly cost-sensitive segment tried to save money by reducing discretionary purchases. In the near-to-mid term, this could actually boost the used and refurbished mobile phone market.