India Smartphone Shipments Fall 3 Percent YoY in Q3, Samsung Retains Leadership: Canalys

Smartphone shipments in India declined 3 percent year-on-year (YoY) for the July-September period (Q3) in 2023, shows a new report by market research firm Canalys. Despite the fall, Samsung continued to lead the smartphone market with 7.9 million shipments and 18 percent market share. The South Korean company launched its Galaxy S23 series early this year and the flagship phones have apparently helped grow its market share. Xiaomi is in a close second spot, followed by other Chinese smartphone brands including Vivo, Realme, and Oppo in the top five places. Upcoming festival sales and improved consumer confidence are expected to lead to positive growth in the coming months.

Analyst firm Canalys said in its latest report that 43 million smartphones were shipped in India in the third quarter of 2023. The figure marks a 3 percent drop in year-on-year shipments.

Following past trends, Samsung enjoyed a major share of India’s smartphone shipments and maintained its top position in Q3 with a market share of 18 percent and a shipment of 7.9 million units. Xiaomi advanced to the second position by shipping 7.6 million units. The Chinese brand has grabbed 21 percent of the market share primarily fueled by the release of its affordable 5G models. Vivo came third with 7.2 million shipments and a 16 percent market share. Other BBK subsidiaries, Realme and Oppo came in fourth and fifth, respectively. Realme shipped 5.8 million units and got a 14 percent market share, while Oppo shipped 4.4 million units and received a 12 percent market share.

Canalys notes that brands promoted their festive product lineup with a focus on the budget-friendly 5G smartphone segment. Xiaomi expanded its 5G portfolio with the launch of budget-friendly models like the Redmi 12 5G and Poco M6 Pro 5G, contributing to the growth of 5G offerings in their lineup. Realme also gained traction in the market with its Realme 11x 5G and Realme 11 5G models. Brands like Motorola, Infinix and Tecno also drove limited volume through their new affordable 5G devices.

The premium smartphone segment also witnessed robust growth in the just-ended quarter, as per the report. Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series and Apple’s iPhone 14, and iPhone 13 lineup surged during the festive sales driven by online sale offers.

Canalys observes that increased consumer confidence and the launch of new handsets will likely help the market move toward gradual recovery. “Despite the market gaining consumer confidence in the second half, the road to recovery will be challenged by global economic concerns,” said Canalys senior analyst Sanyam Chaurasia. “The growth in 2024 hinges on uncertain macroeconomic factors, particularly affecting the vulnerable entry-level segment. However, the Indian economy remains relatively resilient to sudden shocks from these variables and brands are adapting to market dynamics. To maintain market share, vendors should prioritise reducing channel pressures and building a lean product portfolio. They should have ‘hero models’ in each price segment while maintaining balanced inventories across channels” he added.

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