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Indian smartphone market grew 23% in Jan-Mar
2021: Counterpoint report
The second Covid wave, however, is expected to dampen the show in the April-June quarter
Buoyed by pent-up demand, the local smartphone market grew by a whopping 23 percent over a year earlier in the
January-March quarter. As a result, shipment of smartphones touched 38 million units – unprecedented for the
quarter – a report by analyst firm Counterpoint Research showed.
“Continuing with its stellar run, India’s smartphone market registered a third consecutive quarter of record
shipments in the first quarter of 2021, riding on pent-up demand. consumer confidence also increased due to the
beginning of a vaccination drive in the country”, said Prachis Singh, an analyst at Counterpoint.
With a 14 percent rise in the shipment of feature phones during the period, the overall handset market registered
19 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth. Strong shipment numbers of Reliance’s JioPhone drove the feature
phones market, while Chinese vendor Itel led the market with a 21 percent share.
In the smartphone space, market leader Xiaomi witnessed a strong demand for its handsets and had to expand
local sourcing capacity by partnering with two Chinese manufacturers — BYD and DBG. Rival Samsung, which
held the second spot, registered 52 percent growth in shipment over the corresponding quarter last year. Its sales
were driven by new launches in the budget segment.
Analysts, however, are now wary of the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in its second wave, and its impact
on the market in the April-June quarter. According to Singh, the superior growth in the March quarter might not
sustain in the coming days. “These (March quarter) numbers should be taken with caution as a second and more
virulent wave of Covid-19 is currently on in the country. That is likely to impact the coming quarters. The consumer
demand will take a hit due to the ongoing Covid-19 wave and subsequent lockdowns,” said Singh.