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Smartphone shipments in March quarter fall 19% to hit record low: Report

This was the highest ever Q1 decline seen by the country's smartphone market

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Aryaman Gupta New Delhi

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India’s smartphone shipments declined 19 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of calendar year 2023 (January-March) to reach over 31 million units, according to a report by Counterpoint Research.

This was the highest ever Q1 decline seen by the country’s smartphone market, besides being the third consecutive quarterly decline. Sluggish demand, high inventory build-up carried over from 2022, growing consumer preference for refurbished phones and pessimistic channel view of the market contributed to this decline, the report said.

“We are observing a change in consumer behaviour — demand is concentrated around promotional periods,” said Shilpi Jain, senior research analyst at Counterpoint. “Channel players are focussing on getting rid of existing inventory instead of creating a fresh inventory of new models.”

The quarter’s silver lining, he said, came from 5G smartphones, whose contribution reached 43 per cent, an uptick of 23 per cent YoY, as consumers upgraded to 5G devices. Analysts expect a similar trend in the next quarter as well, with growth coming back in the second half of the year due to faster 5G upgrades, easing macroeconomic pressure and the festival season.

According to Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh, the trend of “premiumisation” is becoming stronger with each passing quarter. “The sub-Rs 10,000 price band continued to decline in Q1, with its shipments falling 9 per cent YoY. This segment is suffering declining demand due to an elongated replacement period, declining feature phone-to-smartphone migration and lower presence of hero models,” Singh added. 

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43% 5G smartphones’ contribution to total shipments

20% share of Samsung, which leads the smartphone market for the second consecutive quarter. It was also the top 5G brand

Vivo captured the second spot, becoming the leading brand in the affordable premium segment (Rs 30,000-Rs 45,000, $370-$550)

Apple continued to lead the premium and ultra-premium segments, with strong growth in offline channels

OnePlus was the fastest growing brand, followed by Apple

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First Published: Apr 27 2023 | 6:34 PM IST

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