“While we continue to deal with coronavirus, more than two-thirds of the world has a mobile phone, with smartphones accounting for more than three-quarters of all the mobile handsets in use today”.
The global smartphone devices are estimated to be around 3.8 billion. While China has the most number of active smartphone users, India is the second-biggest smartphone market with 502 million smartphone users.
This number of smartphone users in India is estimated to reach over 760 million in 2021 and by 2025 it would likely touch 973 million.
It has been estimated that 4.72 billion people around the world use the internet in April 2021 on various mediums like desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphones. This accounts for more than 60 percent of the world’s total population.
As per Digital 2021 India, India ranked second in the world in terms of active internet users with over 624 million internet users in India in January 2021. The number of internet users in India gradually increased by 47 million (+ 8.2%) between 2020 and 2021.
This indicates the Internet penetration rate in India went up to nearly around 45 percent in 2021 meaning nearly half of the population of 1.39 billion people had access to the internet.
Social media use continues to grow too, with global users reaching 4.33 billion in April 2021. This is equal to more than 55% of the world’s population. The number of social media users has increased by 13.7 percent globally over the past 12 months.
More than 520 million new users have joined social media since April 2020, equating to a growth of more than 1.4 million new users every day. India recorded 448 million active social media users in January 2021. The number of social media users in India increased by 78 million (+ 21%) between 2020 and 2021 which is equivalent to 32.3 % of India’s total population.
India reported a significant increase in Mobile connections with 1.10 billion mobile connections in January 2021. The number of mobile connections in India increased by 23 million (+ 2.1%) between January 2020 and January 2021. The number is equivalent to 79% of India’s total population. India stands second to China with 1.6 billion mobile connections.
India in the depths of pandemic and our road towards Economic Recovery :
According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, India’s smartphone shipments grew 23% YoY to reach over 38 million units in Q1 2021. These were the highest ever first-quarter shipments. 5G network is likely to be launched by the end of 2021, the devices go the first strategy led to a million units of 5G smartphone shipments in 3Q 20 alone.
We see demand normalizing as economic recovery starts. The key factors behind the increase in demand can be New Product launches in the market, aggressive promotions by brands in their online and offline channels, delayed device replacement, pent up demand of last year coupled with people rushing in to buy upgraded devices (5G supported) to ensure continuity of work and studies.
As the economy recovers, consumer spending is likely to increase thereby increasing demand for upgraded technology and 5G supported smartphones by high income and mid income consumer segment. It is interesting to note that smartphone companies are all set to introduce affordable handsets narrowing the Average selling price gap b/w 4G and 5G offerings.
Apart from this, India still has an existing user base of 400 million 2G subscribers the cost of smartphones is the biggest barrier in moving them to a 4G network. With better economic conditions available they may want to upgrade to a 4G smartphone, which will further add momentum to the smartphone market.
The first half of 2020 witnessed less footfall across retail outlets (offline channel), disruption in the supply chain because of the nationwide lockdown, and migrants leaving for their hometown leading production to a standstill. He led most of the big players to revamp their production process and work on the reformulation of their marketing strategies thereby restructuring their business and business goals and resonating it with new normal i.e. WFH, online education.
The smartphone companies have stepped up their efforts into providing affordability solutions across devices like feature phones, smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.
- The tech giant – Apple, which started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 has been shifting some of its production from China to India.
- The company manufactures iPhone SE, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 in India through its contract manufacturing partners Foxconn and Wistron.
- Apple launched its online store in 3Q 20 offering a wide range of first-time services.
- Jio is all set to launch affordable 4G and 5G smartphones with partnered company Google by the second quarter of 2021.
- Vivo has announced the opening of 150 new exclusive retail stores in 2021.
Specification Trends :
- According to Samsung, 2021 will see three key trends — 5G going mainstream, foldable devices gaining more traction, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) redefining parameters of what phones can do.
- While OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) launched more low priced smartphones, they have improved the game on specifications with more phones featuring quad cameras, sleeker body, high megapixel counts (48 MP +), more storage ( 64 GB+), bigger batteries ( 5000AH+), etc. even as price declines.
- The upper premium income segment witnessed a strong growth where Apple conquered the top spot with a 42% share driven by strong demand for iPhone 11. Samsung and One plus continued to be the second-best and third-best players.
TOP 5 Smartphones in India
Xiaomi continued to lead for 3+ years, shipping 10.5 million units in Q121. On a YoY basis, Xiaomi’s market share reduced from 31 % to 28%. Xiaomi’s Redmi 8A Dual, Redmi 8, and Redmi Note 9 were the top three models nationally despite Xiaomi facing supply constraints in the early weeks of the quarter. Xiaomi’s newly launched Redmi Note 10 series has received good reviews from consumers.
The brand has re-entered the upper mid–tier segment (Rs 20,000 – 30,000) almost after 1.5 years with the latest 5G offering (Mi 10i G). Xiaomi also maintained the lead in the online channel with a 35% share, with POCO (sub-brand under Xiaomi) reaching an all-time high of more than one (1) million shipments in 3Q20.
Top Selling Smartphones brand in India w.r.t. Q1 2020 and Q1 2021 (YoY growth)
Samsung stood in the second slot with 19% share and 52% YoY in Q1 2021. In Q121 Samsung recorded shipments of 7 million units. India became Samsung’s largest smartphone market globally, ahead of the US in 3Q20, accounting for 15% of its global shipments.
It maintained steady supplies through the quarter in comparison to China-based vendors, clubbed with more offerings in low-end and mid-range price segments.
Samsung also benefited from the anti-Chinese sentiments prevailing in the initial weeks of the quarter, which soon vaporized in the latter half. The online channel accounted for 43% of Samsung shipments, witnessing unprecedented growth in 3Q20 with the Galaxy M21 and M31 featuring in the top 5 online models nationally.
Vivo stood at the third position, with shipments of 9.0 million units, growing by 16% YoY. It has registered the biggest offline channel sales of its handsets. The company offers high-rated customer relationship service via its offline channel/store sales. The Y series phones are very popular amongst mid segment group.
Vivo offered great promotions online and offline in 2020. It is also set to offer 5 G-enabled smartphones all priced caped above 20,000 which would help position itself as an affordable solution in the Indian market.
Realme stood at the fourth position grew 19% YoY to 8.0 million units in 3Q20. It also regained its second slot in the online channel ahead of Samsung with a 23% share. Realme’s market share increased from 10% in 2019 to 13% in 2020. Shipments grew 22% in 2020.
The C11 featured in the top 5 online models nationally. Realme saw the highest growth due to strong shipments of its C series and Narzo Series.
OPPO in the fifth position with 6.1 million shipments grew by 11% YoY in 3Q20. Its supply constraints improved in 3Q20, with the A12, A53, and A11K as its top shipped models. It regained its third position in the offline channel with an 18% share, following Vivo and Samsung, with managed supplies in the retail counters.
OTHERS- 11% Market Share
Apple captured the sixth spot in Q4 2020 with 171 % YoY growth in Q4 2020 and 207% growth in India in Q1 21. iPhone maker has registered a 207% YoY growth in Q1 2021, maintaining its lead in the premium segment ( ie above Rs 30,000) with a 48% market share.
Apple launched its new product iPhone 12 and offered aggressive offers on iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone 11. An online expansion added fuel to its growth.
OnePlus grew more than 300% YoY for Q1 2021 driven by the OnePlus Nord and newly launched OnePlus 8T shipments. OnePlus contributed more than half of the overall 5G shipments in Q4 2020.
The smartphone and telecom ecosystem is in a state of rapid transformation. Fueled by magnificent growth and revenue opportunities enabled by upgraded smartphones, improvements in mobile network infrastructure and an ever-expansive demand for smartphones for WFH, booming online education, multifold increase in mobile applications, significant changes in industry structure, Make in India initiative, Production linked incentive scheme along with big players are all set to level up the game this year. 2021 is definitely going to bring forth an impressive show of technology.