5G smartphone shipments crossed 4 million units in 2020 in India, according to the latest research from Counterpoint.
These shipments were driven by two brands – OnePlus, the only brand with a 100 percent 5G portfolio, and Apple, which launched the iPhone 12 series with 5G connectivity.
5G smartphone shipments in India are expected to increase by more than nine times to reach 38 million units in 2021.
India’s smartphone shipments declined by 4 percent to over 150 million units in 2020, according to the report.
The high consumer demand post-lockdown, as well as strong promotions on online channels and new uses cases like e-learning and work from home, drove the smartphone market in the pandemic-hit year, says Counterpoint senior research analyst Prachir Singh.
Indian smartphone market grew 19 percent in Q4 2020 as the festive season offers got extended, when compared to Q4 2019, due to Diwali falling on November 14.
Xiaomi recaptured the top spot in Q4 2020 with 13 percent growth. Ramped-up production through partnerships with more EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) players, new launches with a focus on the premium segment, strong demand for the Redmi 9 and Redmi Note 9 series, and aggressive offers during the festive season led to a strong quarter for Xiaomi.
Samsung slipped to the second position in Q4 2020 but exhibited 30 percent growth. Overall, 2020 has been a great year for Samsung as it recaptured the second spot in the Indian market. This was the first time when it went aggressive on online channels and built its portfolio across various price bands.
Vivo remained the top offline player in 2020. However, Vivo declined 13 percent due to high exposure to the offline market, which was impacted by the pandemic in 2020. However, Vivo exited 2020 on a leaner inventory, thanks to its channel strategies and robust supply chain connects.
Realme grew 22 percent in 2020 and crossed the 20 million units mark for the first time. High consumer demand on online channels as well as strong shipments of its C-series and Narzo series were the prime reasons for its growth in Q4 2020.
OPPO shipments grew 11 percent in 2020 while remaining flat in Q4 2020, driven by the demand for its recently launched A12 and A53 models. It increased its manufacturing capacity in India and kept focusing on product innovation with improved research and development processes, especially related to 5G.
Poco crossed 2.5 million smartphone units for the first time in Q4 2020 driven by its M2, M2 Pro and C3 models.
Apple captured the sixth spot in Q4 2020 with 171 percent growth in Q4 and 93 percent growth in 2020. The launch of the iPhone 12, offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion drove this growth. For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter.
OnePlus experienced 200 percent growth in Q4 2020 driven by its mid-range Nord series and the newly launched 8T series. It re-entered the mid segment with the Nord series, which made it possible to cross 3 million shipments in a year for the first time.
Micromax has reached its highest market share in six quarters with its IN-series smartphones which were launched recently. 2021 will be a significant year for Indian brands and their share will increase as Indian brands are revamping their portfolios, and Jio is coming up with an entry-level 4G smartphone.