Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) announced on Monday that smartphone shipments in India grew by 9.3 percent in the July-September quarter to reach a record of 46.6 million units. Factors like multiple online sales, festivals, new launches and price corrections on a few key models by brands were responsible for the jump in sales.
Xiaomi continued to lead the tally with 27.1 percent share, followed by Samsung (18.9 percent), Vivo (15.2 percent), Realme (14.3 percent), and Oppo (11.8 percent). The average selling price for the overall smartphone market was $159, up 2.7 percent year-on-year.
Navkendar Singh, Director (Client Devices and IPDS) of IDC India Research said:
"This can be attributed to a strong undercurrent of passive consumer sentiment and muted shipments in the last quarter of the year due to a record Q3 2019 when channel stock levels went up."
Additionally, the unabated aggression of the online players will continue to be a challenge for the offline channel, which remains the largest channel for smartphones in India, he added.
"All these give us an indication of sluggish growth next quarter," Navkendar said.
The feature phone market, which accounted for 43.3 percent of the total mobile phone shipments, registered a 17.5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in the September 2019 quarter to 35.6 million units.
The low-end price segment of $200 accounted for 80 percent of the smartphone market in the September quarter, while the mid-range segment ($200 to $500) contributed 18.9 percent of the shipments. The fastest-growing segment was the $300 to $500 with double the shipments year-on-year as models like the OnePlus 7, Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro and Vivo V15 Pro saw good traction, IDC said.
The premium (over $500) segment saw Apple continuing to dominate the market with a share of 51.3 percent on the back of "affordability offers and price drops on previous generation models".
Shipments of 4G-enabled feature phones declined 20.3 percent year-on-year due to heavy inventory in the channel, while that of the 2G and 2.5G market fell 16.2 percent in the said quarter, IDC reported.
Upasana Joshi, IDC India Associate Research Manager (Client Devices), said:
"The continued aggression by the online platforms with attractive cashback and buyback offers as well as affordability schemes like no-cost EMIs (equated-monthly installments) and financing options were key in taking the share of the online channel to a record high of 45.4 percent with y-o-y growth of 28.3 percent".
According to IDC, the offline channel "continued to face challenges", leading to a 2.6 percent year-on-year decline in the third quarter. Even as the offline channel players tried to match their offers in line with the online players, they fell short of the attractive deals that a consumer could grab in the online space and were still dealing with leftover inventory from previous quarters, the report said.
Consumer inquiries and footfall were relatively slow at the retail counters through September, compared to the previous years, it added.