Indian smartphone market declines in 2020 after years of growth

2020 has been a harsh year for many reasons and a country which has seen immense growth in the smartphone market has faced a slowdown last year, according to the latest report revealed by IDC.

The top five vendors of the year were Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Realme and Oppo. While Xiaomi’s performance was led by the Redmi sub-brand, Samsung saw some success with the Galaxy M series. Vivo had strong growth in the offline channel, whereas Realme saw impressive growth in online sales and affordable C-series phones.

As per the estimates revealed by the research firm,  the handset market in the country fell by almost 2% YoY with 150 million units. “Stay-at-home mandates, remote work, remote education, travel restrictions, and manufacturing shutdowns led to a sluggish H1’20 (-26% YoY decline), particularly impacting 2Q20. However, H2’20 recovered, with 19% YoY growth, as markets reopened gradually,” stated the report.

The report further added that the 4Q20 (October-December) time frame witnessed record shipment of 45 million devices, with 21% YoY growth.

However, IDC predicts that a stronger market acceleration in 2021 will be led by upgraders. “The rebound of the smartphone market in the latter half of 2020 underscores the importance of devices in our day-to-day lives. In 2021, IDC expects the smartphone market to grow in high single-digit YoY, driven majorly by upgrading consumers, in the mid-range segment and affordable 5G offerings (~US$250). Also, revamped offline channel play is anticipated, to bring back growth in the very important brick and mortar counters for long term sustainability,” says Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.

On handsets, IDC added that MediaTek processor-based smartphone shipments led with a share of 43%, closely followed by Qualcomm at 40%.

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