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India smartphone shipments cross 52 million units in Q3 2021

India’s smartphone shipments declined 2% YoY to reach over 52 million units in Q3 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. The decline can be attributed to higher pent-up demand last year due to COVID-19. The smartphone market continues to show signs of resiliency and the quarterly numbers would have been even higher if not for the component shortages that escalated during the quarter.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh said, “Smartphone shipments maintained a strong momentum after the second COVID-19 wave. The consumer demand outweighed the supply due to the high pent-up demand. Keeping in mind the global component shortage, most of the brands were aggressively working to secure enough stock for the festive season.

The demand in the online channels remained strong and reached highest-ever shipments in Q3 2021.”

Commenting on the competitive landscape and brand strategies, Research Analyst Monika Sharma said, “Chinese brands captured 74% share in the Indian smartphone market in Q3 2021. Xiaomi led the market with a 22% share driven by the Redmi 9 series and Redmi Note 10 series. The Redmi 9A remained the top-selling smartphone model during Q3 2021 as well. Samsung captured the second spot with a 19% share. The online-focused Galaxy M series and F series drove its shipments along with the newly launched Galaxy A series models which saw high demand in the offline channels. Samsung is focusing on providing maximum 5G bands in its 5G models to differentiate itself from the competition. Strong volumes of vivo’s Y-series and V-series smartphones led the brand to capture the third spot with a 15% share. realme captured the fourth spot with a 14% share driven by its budget segment C series. OPPO took the fifth spot with 10% share.”

India’s overall mobile handset market declined 5% YoY in Q3 2021. Samsung regained the top position in the handset market, capturing an 18% share in Q3 2021. The feature phone market declined 12% YoY in Q3 2021 as the migration to smartphones continued. itel led the feature phone market, taking 27% share followed by Lava, Nokia HMD and Samsung. itel has been leading the feature phone market for the last eight consecutive quarters.

Market summary:
• Xiaomi retained the top position in India’s smartphone market with a 22% share driven by the Redmi 9 series and Redmi Note 10 series. Xiaomi captured the top four positions in the list of best-selling models with its Redmi 9A, Redmi 9 Power, Redmi Note 10 and Redmi 9 models. All these four models clocked more than a million shipments. The Redmi 9A has been the best-selling model in 2021 till date. Xiaomi reached its highest ever shipments in the premium segment in Q3 2021 driven by Mi 11x series.

• Samsung remained the second-largest smartphone brand in India with its shipments registering a 19% share. The brand captured the second position in the 5G segment, driven by the Galaxy M42, M52, A22 and A52s models. Samsung was the top smartphone brand in the INR 10,000 – INR 30,000 band. The brand also led the 5G multiple-band support segment (more than five bands) with a 38% share. Newly launched Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 had a strong start in India. We are expecting the fold series is likely to surpass the lifetime revenue contribution of any Galaxy note series in the past and help Samsung to grow faster in the Ultra-premium segment.

• Vivo held the third position in Q3 2021 with a 15% share. It became the top 5G smartphone brand for the first time in Q3 2021, while remaining the top offline smartphone player as well. vivo registered its highest ever shipments in the premium segment driven by the X60, V21 and iQOO series. The brand reached its highest ever ASP (average selling price), which can be attributed to the increased focus on the premium segment through the V-series and iQOO-series smartphones.

• Realme captured the fourth position in Q3 2021 with a 14% share. It was the top 5G smartphone brand in the sub-INR 20,000 price band. The realme 8 5G and realme 8s 5G were the top two 5G smartphone models in the sub-INR 20,000 price band and captured almost half of the market.

• OPPO took the fifth position in Q3 2021 with a 10% share. The OPPO A54 was the top smartphone model in the INR 10,000 – INR 20,000 price band. The brand captured the third spot in this price band. The OPPO F19 series and Reno 6 series led the brand in capturing the fourth position in the INR 20,000 – INR 30,000 band.
• Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and TECNO) registered 72% YoY growth, which is the second highest among top brands, and captured a 9% share collectively in the overall India smartphone market. itel remained the top smartphone brand in the sub-INR 6,000 price band, capturing more than 60% of the segment. Also, in the sub-INR 8,000 price band, Transsion brands led the market with more than 30% share. Transsion brands captured the second position in the sub-INR 10,000 band for the first time. itel has been leading the feature phone market for the last eight consecutive quarters.

• Apple was the highest growing brand in Q3 2021 with 212% YoY growth and led the premium smartphone market (> INR 30,000) with a 44% share. The brand maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (> INR 45,000 or ~$650) with a 74% share. Strong demand for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 were the major factors in Apple’s growth. Apple became the top 5G smartphone brand in the premium segment for the first time.

• OnePlus grew 55% YoY in Q3 2021 driven by the OnePlus Nord Series. During the quarter, OnePlus also registered its highest ever shipments in India. The brand captured the second spot in the premium segment (> INR 30,000). OnePlus took two spots in the list of top 5G smartphones in the premium segment. The newly launched OnePlus Nord 2 5G and Nord CE 5G were the driving factors in OnePlus growth. Nord series cumulative shipments cross 3 million units.

• 5G smartphone shipments crossed the 10-million mark for the first time in Q3 2021. 5G with multiple band support (>5 bands) captured 50% of the 5G smartphone market for the first time. vivo became the top 5G smartphone brand for the first time. It was followed by Samsung, OnePlus and realme.

• Online channels captured around 55% of the smartphone shipments during the quarter.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q3 2021 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Feel free to contact us at press(at)counterpointresearch.com for questions regarding our latest research and insights.

The Market Monitor research relies on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendors’ IR results and vendor polling, triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.
TVJ Bureau

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