India only country among top 3 markets to see some growth

India’s Smartphone market grew 1.5% year-on-year to 32.5 million units in the January-March 2020 quarter, according to the data released by IDC. However, even though the pace of growth was tepid, India was the only country among the top three markets to see some growth.

The IDC’s ‘Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker’ noted that both China and the U.S. markets registered a double-digit decline of 20.3% and 16.0% during the first quarter of 2020, respectively.

Virus impact

“COVID-19 will have a substantial impact on the Indian mobile phone market in 2020, with potential supply chain disruptions and slower-than-expected consumer demand for the next few quarters,” Navkendar Singh, research director, Client Devices & IPDS at IDC India, said.

IDC expects the India mobile phone market to follow a U-shaped recovery from 3Q20 (July-September quarter). “The pent-up demand from the first half of the year will gradually shift to the second half, rolling over to 2021 as well. A revival in consumer demand is expected around the festive quarter of 4Q20; with amplified marketing and promotional activities,” Mr. Singh said.

As per the data shared by IDC, Xiaomi was the leader in the smartphone market with 31.2% market share, followed by Vivo (21%), Samsung (15.6%), Realme (13.1%) and Oppo (10.6%).

The online channel grew by 9% year-on-year during the January-March quarter due to multiple new launches, attractive discounts, cashback offers, and affordability schemes, registering a share of 43.1%, Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices at IDC India said.

She added that offline channel shipments declined by 3.5% year-on-year, owing to fewer consumer offers, fewer retail walk-ins, and a more aggressive portfolio available on e-tailer platforms across leading brands.

Further, with a 5.5% y-o-y growth, the average selling price for the smartphone market stood at $171 (approximately ₹12,800).

The feature phone segment, which still accounted for 41.2% of the overall mobile phone market in India, continued to decline y-o-y by 29.4% with shipments of 22.8 million units in 1Q20.