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India only smartphone market among top 3 to see growth in Q1 2020: IDC

With shipments of 32.5 million units leading to 1.5 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, India was the only country among the top three to see any growth in the first quarter of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Data Corporations (IDC) said on Friday.

The other two markets in the top three -- China and the US -- declined YoY by (-20.3 per cent) and (-16 per cent) respectively in the first quarter of 2020.

"The online channel (in India smartphone market) grew by 9 per cent YoY in 1Q20 due to multiple new launches, attractive discounts, cashback offers, and affordability schemes registering a share of 43.1 per cent," Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

"On the other hand, offline channel shipments declined by 3.5 per cent YoY, owing to fewer consumer offers, fewer retail walk-ins, and a more aggressive portfolio available on e-Tailer platforms across leading brands," Joshi said.

Xiaomi led the India market with 31.2 per cent share, Vivo captured 21 per cent, Samsung 15.6 per cent, Realme 13.1 per cent and OPPO 10.6 per cent.

The combined share of these five brands in the India smartphone market is over 91 per cent, according to IDC.

Xiaomi's shipments grew by a modest 3.4 per cent YoY, registering total shipments of 10.1 million in the first quarter of 2020. The Chinese smartphone maker maintained its dominance in the online channel with a market share of 45.8 per cent and also surpassed OPPO for the second slot in the offline channel with 20.1 per cent share in the quarter.

Vivo was in second place with strong YoY growth of 63.3% in 1Q20, fueled by its affordable Y series and S1/Pro series.

Samsung at the third position registered its lowest ever shipments in the past five years, declining by (-28.4 per cnet) YoY in the first quarter of the year, according to IDC.

The newly launched Galaxy A51 and M31 were the highest shipped models. But low traction for the offline-exclusive Galaxy A series led to high channel inventory for older models from previous quarters.

Realme surpassed OPPO for the fourth position in 1Q20, as its shipments grew multifold with several new launches across price segments.

The realme 5i, 5s, C2/C3,6 were the top models, accounting for more than 70 per cent of shipments.

OPPO slipped to the fifth position in the first quarter, but with a YoY growth of 41 per cent.

The feature phone segment, which still accounted for 41.2 per cent of the overall mobile phone market in India, continued to decline YoY by (-29.4 per cent) with shipments of 22.8 million units in first quarter of 2020.

Xiaomi continued to lead in the overall mobile phone market for the second consecutive quarter with a market share of 18.3 per cent, followed closely by Samsung and vivo, IDC said.

"COVID-19 will have a substantial impact on the Indian mobile phone market in 2020, with potential supply chain disruptions and slower-than-expected consumer demand for the next few quarters," said Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.

IDC expects the India mobile phone market to follow a U-shaped recovery from 3Q20 onwards. The pent-up demand from the first half of the year will gradually shift to the second half, rolling over to 2021 as well.

"A revival in consumer demand is expected around the festive quarter of 4Q20; with amplified marketing and promotional activities," Singh said.

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