The country’s smartphone shipments in 2022 fell 6% year-on-year to 151.6 million units, driven by factors such as supply chain issues and low demand caused by global macroeconomic headwinds. According to a report by market analysis firm Canalys, the country’s shipments posted their first-ever decline in the October-December quarter, falling 27% year-on-year to 32.4 million units.
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“India was better positioned to weather the global downturn than other markets. But domestic consumer spending cooled in the final months of 2022,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, an analyst at Canalys. “Even during the holiday season, the domestic market suffered from a drop in transactions, retail spending and electronic imports,” he added. For this year, the market analysis firm expects the Indian smartphone market to grow moderately, driven by 5G devices, government deals, smartphone penetration and the launch of new use cases.
Other factors such as the availability of current technology at customers and fewer upgrades also contributed to the decline in deliveries in 2022.
For the full year, Xiaomi sold 29.6 million smartphone units with a 20% market share, the highest among its competitors, followed by Samsung, which sold 28.6 million units with a 19% market share. Vivo and Oppo sold 25.4 million and 22.6 million units, respectively. Vivo’s market share for 2022 was 17%, while Oppo’s market share was 15%. Oppo includes OnePlus.
However, in the October-December quarter, Samsung ranked first for the first time since July-September 2017, shipping 6.7 million units for a 21% market share. Vivo ranked second with 6.4 million units shipped, mostly through offline channels. After 20 quarters, from October to December, Xiaomi lost its leading position and fell to third place with shipments of 5.5 million units.
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“Vendors that mostly focused on online channels suffered from poor festive e-commerce sales performance in the fourth quarter of 2022,” said Chaurasia. Due to poor festive e-commerce sales performance over the past year, Xiaomi and Realme saw significant stocking of their products in online channels during the quarter.
Vivo and Oppo’s focus on offline channels helped them be the only providers to report shipment growth. Samsung continued to target consumers across all segments with strong retail strength. “India will hold general elections in 2024 and the government’s strategy will be to boost consumer purchasing power even if inflation remains high,” Chaurasia said.