Smartphone shipments took a hit during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic as the market declined by 1.7 per cent on a yearly basis, according to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC).The Indian smartphone market shipments stood at 150 million units, and the decline comes after many years of growth.
Factors affecting the decline of smartphone shipments included stay-at-home mandates, remote work, remote education, travel restrictions, and manufacturing shutdowns, the report added. The first half of 2020, when the pandemic was at its worst, witnessed a 26 percent year-on-year decline in shipments.
However, the numbers were somewhat balanced during the second half of the year, when remote work, academics and entertainment needs nudged Indians into buying new smartphones and other gadgets including laptops and tablets. This led to a 19 percent year-on-year growth in the second half of 2020. The final quarter of the year itself witnessed the shipment of 45 million units, which showed a 21 percent year-on-year growth.
“The rebound of the smartphone market in the latter half of 2020 underscores the importance of devices in our day-to-day lives,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director at IDC India said.
“In 2021, IDC expects the smartphone market to grow in high single-digit YoY, driven majorly by upgrading consumers, in the mid-range segment and affordable 5G offerings (about $250). Also, revamped offline channel play is anticipated, to bring back growth in the very important brick and mortar counters for long term sustainability,” Singh added.
Which brands shipped the most phones?
Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Oppo and Samsung were the biggest vendors in 2020. Xiaomi’s numbers were led by the Redmi 8 series in the first half of the year, and later the Redmi 9 series. Poco also entered the “top 5 online channel vendor list”.
Samsung stood number two in the list, and its online-heavy portfolio of devices were led driven in India by the mid-range Galaxy M and Galaxy F series. Vivo stood third with strong growth in the offline channel, driven by the budget-oriented Y series.
Ranking fourth and fifth respectively were Realme and Oppo. Other brands like Transsion with its range of Infinix, Itel and Tecno smartphones ranked sixth, while Apple made it to the seventh slot exiting 2020 with 93 percent year-on-year growth with the help of the iPhone 11 and 12 series as well as the iPhone SE and iPhone XR.