India's smartphone shipments soared 26% in the first quarter of 2021—marking the country's highest growth rate in six years.
India’s smartphone shipments soared 26% year-on-year (YoY) to 39 million units in the first quarter of 2021—marking the country’s highest growth rate in six years, according to new research from Strategy Analytics. Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo are the top three vendors, capturing 27%, 19% and 18% market share in the quarter, respectively.
“India smartphone shipments soared 26% YoY from 30.7 million units in Q1 2020 to a first-quarter record of 38.8 million in Q1 2021,” said Rajeev Nair, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Indian lockdown restrictions were eased temporarily during the first quarter of this year and demand surged for new 4G smartphones.”
Abhilash Kumar, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said Xiaomi captured 27% smartphone market share in India during Q1 2021, tumbling from its all-time peak of 32% in Q1 2020. “Xiaomi is facing much tougher competition this year from a resurgent Samsung and hungry Vivo. Samsung grabbed 19% market share in Q1 2021, up sharply from 16% a year ago. Samsung’s Galaxy M, A and F Series models are finding traction with Indian consumers seeking a solid device from a famous brand at an affordable price. Vivo held third place with 18% market share, leaping from 16% in Q1 2020. Vivo is now just a whisker behind Samsung and challenging the Korean brand for second position in India. Vivo’s recent return as the main IPL cricket sponsor is a major boost for the brand and strengthens its pursuit of second position for the rest of 2021,” Kumar explained.
Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “OPPO was flat and held fourth position with 12% market share. Like Samsung, OPPO is facing intense competition from Vivo. OPPO needs to strengthen its online channel engagement and launch more smartphone models to take on the rising challenge of Vivo and others. Realme captured 11% smartphone market share for fifth place, slumping from 15% share a year ago. Realme has extensive online distribution, but its offline retail presence is lagging major rivals such as Samsung.”
Nair said, “While India saw huge smartphone growth due to the easing of lockdown in the first quarter of 2021, we expect a significant pullback in shipments for Q2 as lockdown restrictions are re-tightened to stem the country’s recent spike in Covid cases. The Indian smartphone market remains highly volatile at the moment.”