India Smartphone Market To Reach 173 Million Units in 2021: Counterpoint

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  • It said that the market has been experiencing strong consumer demand after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in June
  • The report said that in 2020, 5G smartphones accounted for less than three per cent of the market

India’s smartphone market shipments are set to hit a record high of 173 million units in 2021 at 14 per cent YoY growth as per Counterpoint Research’s India handset quarterly outlook. It said that the market has been experiencing strong consumer demand after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in June. This will continue during the festive season from August to November.

The report said, “The market has been experiencing a steady growth curve over the last five years to reach 158 million units in 2019. COVID-19 saw the market experiencing only a minor dip of 4 per cent in 2020, showcasing its resilience as well as the emergence of smartphones in a more important role to cater to the pandemic-triggered need for digital communication and newer use cases. Even as the second COVID-19 wave hit the country in Q2 2021, the smartphone market bounced back faster than expected and registered its highest ever shipments in H1 2021.”

The biggest factor pushing the market could be the launch of Reliance Jio’s low-cost Android phone JioPhone Next in September, which will enable migration of feature phone users to smartphones. India has has a considerable installed base of 320 million feature phone users.

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The report said that getting these feature phone users is the key to realising the full potential of India’s smartphone opportunity. It said, “The JioPhone Next phone is expected to be priced below $75, a price point that hasn’t seen major activity in the last two years. If it works as expected, we might see the Indian market entering a period of hyper-growth.”

The report said that in 2020, 5G smartphones accounted for less than three per cent of the market. But in 2021, the market for 5G devices will grow over eight times to reach 32 million units and make up 19 per cent of the overall smartphone market.

It said that the intense competition among OEMs, availability of cheaper 5G chipsets and declining prices of 5G devices will cause more 5G devices being pushed into the market. The average price of entry-level 5G devices has come down by 40 per cent in the last 12 months

It added, “The cheapest phone with 5G now costs less than Rs15,000 (around $200). Preference for 5G devices is also high in India, with 21 per cent of consumers claiming it is one of their top three priorities while purchasing their next phone.”

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