Smartphone Shipments in India Take a Hit, Decline 16% in Q1 2023

Smartphone shipments in India have taken a hit, declining by 16% YoY in the January-March 2023 quarter to 31 million units, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report released on Thursday. Realme and Xiaomi were the worst affected brands during the quarter, while Oppo recorded a growth in its shipment. Samsung maintained its top position in the market, despite experiencing an 11.4% decrease in shipments. Meanwhile, Vivo grabbed the second spot, and Oppo remained at third while Realme and Xiaomi slid down the rankings.

Market leaders and their market share:

  • Samsung: 20.1%
  • Vivo: 17.7%
  • Oppo: 17.6%
  • Xiaomi: 16.4%
  • Realme: 9.4%

31 million smartphones were shipped in India during the first quarter of 2023, a decline of 16% YoY, and the lowest first-quarter shipments in four years.

Realme and Xiaomi the hardest hit

Realme, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, saw its shipments drop by more than half to 2.9 million units, and its market share fell to 9.4% during the March 2023 quarter from 16.4% in the corresponding quarter of 2022. Xiaomi’s shipments fell by 41.1% to 5 million units, while its market share plummeted to 16.4% from 23.4% YoY.

5G smartphones take up 45% of the market share

The segment that managed to grow in the smartphone industry is the 5G smartphone segment, which saw its market penetration increase from 31% to 45% year-on-year. Samsung accounted for more than a quarter of the shipments in this segment. “5G smartphones continue to increase penetration in the low-end price segment, and we should expect a strong 5G play in the $150 (nearly Rs. 12,250) to $300 (nearly Rs. 24,500) segment in the second half of 2023 as high-end 4G models vacate the space,” said IDC India Research Manager, Client Devices, Upasana Joshi.

Slow consumer demand and elevated inventory levels to blame

IDC attributed the dip in shipments to consumers’ sluggish demand amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions and elevated inventory levels. The second half of 2022 saw high stocking, adding to the elevated inventory levels.

India’s smartphone market is projected to experience flat growth in 2023, according to the IDC report.

The projected growth rate for India’s smartphone market is sobering news for smartphone manufacturers, especially as the competition in the Indian mobile market continues to intensify with the arrival of new players.

The IDC report predicts another challenging quarter for smartphones in India due to the pandemic’s second wave leading to lockdowns and a shortage of components.


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