As per the latest market research reported by Canalys – India’s smartphone market posted excellent results in Q1 2020, with shipments up 12% to 33.5 million units, despite the impact of a nationwide lockdown in the final week of March, due to the coronavirus.
Leading vendor Xiaomi achieved a market share of 30.6%, shipping 10.3 million smartphones in the quarter. Chinese vendor, Vivo, grew shipments by close to 50%, overtaking Samsung for the first time to take second place.
The vendor shipped close to 6.7 million units, grabbing a personal record share of just below 20%. Samsung fell 14% to third place with 6.3 million units shipped. Realme maintained fourth place with 3.9 million units, while Oppo finished fifth, with 3.5 million units.
Xiaomi remains the runaway leader in India, while its rivals had mixed fortunes. Its continued investments in local production and supply chain, coupled with an efficient online and offline channel strategy, are its core strengths.
“Vivo’s victory is bitter-sweet,” said Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary. “The high sell-in this quarter was mainly due to planned stockpiles ahead of the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the unplanned lockdown at the end of March has disrupted the vendor’s plans. With IPL postponed, and much of its inventory in offline channels locked out, Vivo will struggle to see a quick sell-through when the lockdown lifts.”
Canalys – India smartphone shipment market share
Canalys expects smartphone shipments in India to plunge in Q2 2020, as the lockdown remains in force up to May 3rd and vendors grapple with both supply- and demand-side issues in the immediate future. “All eyes are glued to the TV sets in hopes of returning to normal,” added Chaudhary. “While parts of India emerge out of the lockdown and the government works out an exit strategy, worker availability, which depends heavily on opening state borders and allowing public transport, will be a key issue for vendors and ODMs. Additional manpower regulations due to COVID-19, like in China, is likely to slow down resumption activities in factories across India, directly impacting production capacity. Consumer demand, however, is likely to be more robust. Online channels are likely to emerge the winners as public fear of the virus deters consumers from buying offline.”