Indian smartphone shipments dip 2 percent YoY in Q3 2021 due to pandemic and chip shortage

The smartphone market continues to display indications of resiliency in sales though due to the ongoing festival period.

Highlights
  • Smartphone shipments in India dipped 2 percent year-on-year (YoY) to touch over 52 million units in the September quarter (Q3) 2021.
  • The decline can be ascribed to higher pent-up demand last year owing to the current pandemic as well as the chip shortage.
  • Online websites captured around 55 percent of the smartphone shipments during the 3rd quarter.

The smartphone shipments in India dipped 2 percent year-on-year (YoY) to touch over 52 million units in the September quarter (Q3) 2021, according to a Counterpoint Research report. The decline was mainly caused because of higher pent-up demand last year after the pandemic as well as the component shortage, especially in chip-making that started showing its impact in the third quarter of this fiscal year. These factors led to the brand launching successive smartphones with almost the same chip as was previously used in their predecessor.

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The report further stated that the smartphone market continues to display indications of resiliency and the quarterly numbers would have been even higher if not for the component shortages that intensified during the September quarter, as per the report. According to Counterpoint Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh “The consumer demand outweighed the supply due to the high pent-up demand. Keeping in mind the global component shortage, most of the brands were aggressively working to secure enough stock for the festive season. The demand in the online channels remained strong and reached highest-ever shipments in Q3 2021.” He further added that the Chinese brands have continued to have a firm grip over the Indian smartphone market and held a 74 percent total share in Q3 2021. In total online channels captured around 55 percent of the smartphone shipments during the September-ending quarter.

Xiaomi topped the charts of smartphone sales tally with a 22 percent market share, followed by Samsung (19 percent), Vivo (15 percent), Realme (14 percent), and Oppo (10 percent) in the September 2021 quarter.

Samsung regained the top position in the overall handset market with a 17.6 % share, followed by Xiaomi (15.5 percent), Vivo (10.1 percent), itel (10 percent), and Realme (9.9 percent). The feature phone market dropped to a mere 12 percent in Q3 2021 as more consumers are migrating to smartphones. itel led the feature phone market with a 27 percent share, followed by Lava, Nokia HMD, and Samsung.

The report also noted that the Transsion Group brands (itelInfinix, and Tecno) registered 72 percent YoY growth and captured a 9 percent share collectively in the overall Indian smartphone market. itel remained the top smartphone brand in the sub-Rs 6,000 price category.

In the premium smartphone market, Apple became the fastest growing brand with a whopping 212 percent YoY growth and also lead the above Rs 30,000 market with a 44 percent share. The strong demand for recently discounted iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 was the driving factor for the growth, with the company topping the 5G smartphone brand in the premium segment for the first time.

OnePlus also grew 55 percent YoY in Q3 2021 thanks to the great reception of the OnePlus Nord series, especially the new OnePlus Nord 2. The Nord series cumulative shipments alone crossed 3 million units. Vivo became the overall top 5G smartphone brand for the first time, followed by Samsung, OnePlus, and Realme.