Indian smartphone market rebounds

The Indian smartphone market rebounded 20% year-on year in Q4 to 38.9 million units on the back of strong festive season demand, with growth predicted on the back of affordable 5G devices in 2024. 

Analysts company Canalys stated, Samsung was the highest shipper and maintained its leading position with 20% market share and shipments of around 7.6 million units. Chinese vendors dominated the rest of the top five, as Xiaomi claimed second with 7.2 million units, while vivo took third with 7 million units. 

Taking fourth place was realme with 4.5 million units and finally Oppo with 3.7 million. 

For the whole of 2023, the Indian smartphone market maintained stability with 148.6 million units, a drop of only 2%. Canlays noted the market showed resilience due to improved consumer confidence in the later part of 2023, despite inventory challenges for vendors, minimal inflation improvements and unpredictable demand.

Canalys senior analyst Sanyam Chaurasia noted increased investment in mainline retail space proving beneficial for vendors and enabled market stabilisation. 

“The premium segment witnessed robust growth, thanks to easy financing options, incentive schemes for retailers and rising disposable income,” said Chaurasia. “With the celebration of Diwali in November 2023, Apple got the opportunity to push the latest iPhone 15 series during the festive sales, contributing more than 50% to its shipments in Q4. Additionally, discounts on the previous-generation iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 models during online sales resulted in Apple’s record shipments, allowing it to capture 7% market share in India. 

“Similarly, Samsung had set aggressive retail targets for its premium Galaxy S23 series to drive premium segment growth. Along with this, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S23 FE launch in Q4 drove shipments, thanks to compelling banking deals.” 

“Vendors are entering 2024’s ‘Election Year’ with improved indicators for the consumer market with manageable inflation, a steady interest rate and clear visibility of a stable government to come into power,” said Chaurasia. 

“Canalys expects the Indian smartphone market to grow by mid-single digits in 2024, driven by affordable 5G and the pandemic period replacement cycle. But the biggest challenge for vendors this year will be to manage the rising bill of materials costs.” 

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