India’s Smartphone Sales Face First-ever Q4 Drop

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  • Last year had a bumpy start with intermittent supply issues and low demand due to global macroeconomic adversities
  • Samsung topped the sales list this quarter, for the first time since Q3 2017 and shipped 6.7 million units for a market share of 21%

As per a recent report, India’s smartphone shipments dropped down to 151.6 million units in 2022, which is a 6% fall from 2021. Canalys’ report on India’s Smartphone market in 2022 stated that India’s smartphone market suffered its first-ever drop in shipments in the fourth-quarter holiday period, falling by 27% to 32.4 million. It must be noted that the year 2022 started with intermittent supply issues and low demand due to global macroeconomic adversities.

Interestingly, Samsung topped the sales list this quarter, for the first time since Q3 2017 and shipped 6.7 million units for a market share of 21%. vivo took the number two position in 4Q22 by shipping 6.4 million units, mainly via offline channels. Canalys said that Xiaomi lost its leadership position in Q4 2022 after 20 quarters and fell to third place with shipments of 5.5 million units. Nevertheless, Xiaomi was still the number-one vendor for the full year. OPPO and realme took the fourth and fifth spots, by shipping 5.4 million and 2.7 million units respectively.

Sanyam Chaurasia, an Analyst at Canalys remarked: “India was better positioned to weather the global downturn than other markets. But domestic consumer spending cooled in the last few months of 2022. Even during the festive season, the domestic market suffered a fall in transactions, retail spending and electronic imports. In 2022, consumers already had up-to-date technology that they had bought during the pandemic, thereby delaying further purchases. This led to smartphone brands struggling with inventory management because demand was subdued. Vendor channel management strategies became more important than ever. The mid-to-high-end segment performed well this year, which will further catalyze the upgrade cycle.” Vendors that were focused predominantly on online channels suffered from a poor e-commerce festive sales performance in Q4 2022, he added further.

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Chaurasia believes that India’s potential is still intact in the long term. He said: “The Indian economy started to feel the impact of the global economic slowdown toward the end of 2022. We are entering 2023 with economic indicators suggesting a sluggish performance in the short term. But, in 2024, India is set to hold its general election and the government’s strategy will be to boost consumers’ purchasing power, even if inflation remains high. Growth in the mass-market segment remains vital for smartphone vendors and will depend on many uncertain macroeconomic factors. Canalys expects moderate growth in the Indian smartphone market in 2023 fueled by a replacement cycle driven by 5G devices, state government deals, smartphone penetration and the introduction of new use cases.”

Canalys is an independent analyst company which delivers smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. Canalys’ PC Analysis service provides quarterly updated shipment data.


 

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