Smartphone shipments in India fell 2% in 2020 due to the pandemic


India’s smartphone market declined 1.7% YoY in 2020, according to IDC’s latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. While the country’s smartphone market had shipped 152.5 million units in 2019, total shipments stood at 149.7 million units in 2020.

Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India, said in a statement:

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.

The numbers don’t come as a surprise though, as the smartphone market in India declined 26% YoY in the first half of 2020 due to Stay-at-home mandates by the government, manufacturing shutdowns, and weaker consumer demand. However, the market recovered strongly in the second half, registering a 19% YoY growth. IDC notes that the resurgence was driven by “an urgent need for devices supporting activities such as entertainment, work from home, and remote learning.”

Despite all the challenges, Xiaomi continued to dominate the Indian smartphone market in 2020. It held a market share of 27%, putting it comfortably ahead of Samsung, which managed to capture 20% of the market. Vivo, which stood at the third position, saw its shipments increase 12% last year. Realme shipments, on the other hand, grew 19%, allowing it to surpass OPPO for the fourth slot.

Interestingly, the report also claims that MediaTek expanded its lead in the country’s budget and entry-level smartphone segments. Nearly 43% of all smartphones shipped in India last year were MediaTek processor-based, closely followed by Qualcomm at 40%.

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