Supply constraints due to the ongoing component shortages and demand decline during the third COVID-19 wave dragged down India's Q1 smartphone shipments.
India’s smartphone shipments declined by 1% year-on-year (YoY) to reach over 38 million units in the first quarter (Q1 2022), according to the latest research from Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Market Monitor service. Supply constraints due to the ongoing component shortages and demand decline during the third COVID-19 wave led to this decline.
“India’s smartphone market registered its first ever Q1 decline in Q1 2022. The quarter started on a slower note due to the third COVID-19 wave. However, demand picked up in the fourth week of January. The component issues were a major reason for this decline and affected almost all the brands. OEMs are adopting various strategies to tackle the supply issues, such as expanding the supplier portfolio and increasing local sourcing. However, the market is expected to remain modest in Q2 2022 as well due to supply disruptions arising from the COVID-19 situation in China,” said Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh.
“The Chinese brands held a 74% share in Q1 2022. Xiaomi led the market with a 23% share, followed by Samsung, realme, vivo and OPPO. Xiaomi registered its highest ever share in the upper-tier (INR 20,000-INR 30,000) segment driven by the Xiaomi 11i series. This also resulted in Xiaomi recording its highest ever retail ASP (average selling price). Samsung revamped its Galaxy A series to drive consumer demand in offline channels. Also, the consumer response to the Galaxy S22 series has been quite positive. vivo launched a new “T-series” during the quarter, which made the brand the top 5G brand in the mid (INR 10,000-INR 20,000) segment. Among the top five brands, realme was the only brand to register positive growth due to its aggressive portfolio and channel strategy,” said Research Analyst Shilpi Jain.
India’s overall mobile handset market declined 16% YoY in Q1 2022. The feature phone market registered a decline of 39% YoY. Supply issues, high inventory levels and softening of consumer demand due to high inflation were the major reasons for this decline. itel led the feature phone market in Q1 2022 with a 21% share. itel has been the top feature phone brand for nine consecutive quarters.
Xiaomi retained the top position in India’s smartphone market in Q1 2022, though it declined 13% YoY. Despite facing issues such as intense competition, component shortages and inflation, Xiaomi managed to emerge as the market leader. Multiple launches with 5G, aggressive promotions at regular intervals and revamping of the Note series worked in Xiaomi’s favor. It also captured the second spot in 5G shipments for the first time.
Samsung recaptured the second spot in Q1 2022 with a 1% YoY decline. It also remained the top-selling 5G smartphone brand in India for the second consecutive quarter. The launch of its latest S22 series and revamping of the A series and M series across price tiers towards the quarter-end drove Samsung’s shipments. Samsung also maintained its lead in the affordable premium segment (INR 30,000-INR 45,000 ~ $400-$600).
realme was the only brand among the top five players to experience YoY growth (40%) in Q1 2022. It captured the third spot during the quarter. Adopting UNISOC chipsets for its mass-market models worked in its favor and, therefore, it did not experience slower shipments after the festive season. Leaner and targeted product portfolio and aggressive channel strategy, especially in the online segment, helped drive this growth.
vivo remained at the fourth spot in Q1 2022 with an 8% YoY decline. The Omicron wave in the country during the first month of the quarter, which affected the offline market, more focus on the mid and premium segments, and increasing competition affected its volumes in the mass-market segment. vivo increased its share in the online market through iQOO and the newly launched T-series. vivo became the top 5G brand in the mid (INR 10,000-INR 20,000) segment owing to positive consumer response to its T-series launch.
OPPO has been consistent in maintaining its fifth position in India’s smartphone market. But it declined 18% YoY in Q1 2022. Being offline focused, shipments suffered more due to the Omicron wave. OPPO is focusing on higher price tiers now with the Reno 7 series, which received a good response. The revamped A16 series in the mass-market segment and the newly launched online-heavy K series are expected to increase OPPO’s shipments in the coming quarter.
Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and TECNO) captured an 11% share in India’s handset market and took the fourth spot. itel led the sub-INR 6,000 smartphone segment with a 61% share driven by strong shipments of the A23 Pro and A27.
Apple grew 5% YoY in Q1 2022. It remained the top-selling brand in the premium segment (>INR 30,000 ~ $400). Aggressive offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 series in the offline channel drove this growth. Apple has been aggressive in expanding its manufacturing capabilities in the country as well as increasing its offline reach.
OnePlus grew 347% YoY in Q1 2022 driven by the Nord CE 2 5G and 9RT shipments. The Nord CE 2 5G was the top 5G smartphone model in Q1 2022. OnePlus captured the third position in the premium segment (>INR 30,000 ~ $400) driven by its 9 series.
High growth in the upper-tier and premium segments increased the market retail ASP to its highest ever with a 15% YoY growth. All the price bands above INR 15,000 registered double-digit growth.
5G smartphone shipments registered 314% YoY growth and contributed to more than 28% of the total shipments. We expect the 5G smartphone share to reach 40% by the end of 2022.