India's smartphone market declined 51% in Q2 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdown

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What you need to know

  • Smartphone shipments in India declined 51% YoY in the second quarter of 2020.
  • The nationwide lockdown imposed by the Indian government to control the spread of COVID-19 led to zero smartphone shipments in the country in April.
  • The Market share of Chinese brands fell to 72% in the second quarter from 81% in the first quarter of the year.

The latest research from Counterpoint's Market Monitor service has revealed that smartphone shipments in India fell 51% year-over-year in Q2 2020 to around 18 million units. As per the market research company, the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Indian government to curb the spread of COVID-19 led to zero shipments in the month of April.

Commenting on the sharp decline in smartphone shipments in India during the quarter, Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research said:

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped-out almost 40 days of production as well as the sales of smartphones due to the nation-wide lockdown. During May, the government allowed shops to open and online channel deliveries for non-essential items. As a result, the market witnessed a surge in sales as the lockdown restrictions were slowly lifted. The quarter was thus marred by both demand and supply constraints which led OEMs to rethink their go-to-market strategies. On the supply side, the factories were shut down in April and started operating in May, which resulted in supply shortages for some manufacturers. Some brands maintained the supply of their products by importing fully assembled handsets. Additionally, the last week of the quarter saw components being held up at customs, which also impacted the supply chain.

Similar to the U.S. smartphone market, the Indian market also recovered in June, although it did register a slight 0.3% decline year-over-year. Counterpoint Research also claims that the share of Chinese brands in India declined from 81% in Q1 2020 to 72% in Q2 2020. This was apparently due to the supply constraints faced by brands like OPPO, Vivo, and Realme. The growing anti-China sentiment in the country due to the border dispute between the two countries is also said to have contributed to the decline.

Xiaomi continued to dominate the Indian market in the second quarter, with a market share of 29%. Samsung held the second position during the April-June period in India, increasing its share to 26% from 16% in the previous quarter. Vivo, which surpassed Samsung as the second-largest smartphone brand in the country in Q1 2020, slipped to the third position in the second quarter.

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Babu Mohan
News Writer