India saw 44.6 million smartphone shipments in the third quarter this year, a 6 per cent decline from the previous year dragged by a lacklustre low-end segment.
According to a report by market research firm Canalys, Xiaomi held onto the first place with 9.2 million units as the brand gained traction from July’s online sales ahead of the festival season.
Samsung came second with 8.1 million shipments and saw strong momentum in the mid-high-end category owing to aggressive offers and promotions.
vivo and OPPO jumped to third and fourth place, shipping 7.3 million and 7.1 million units respectively, while realme dropped to fifth, shipping 6.2 million.
“Hit by inflation, entry-level device contribution declined this year, while the mid-to-high segment performed relatively well thanks to aggressive promotions. OPPO’s OnePlus and vivo’s iQOO were the two brands driving mid-range growth in the e-commerce channel during this period,” said analyst Sanyam Chaurasia.
Ultra-premium category smartphones, especially older generation flagships, also experienced strong demand momentum amid price cuts.
Samsung offered deep discounts on its older generation Galaxy Z Fold3 and the latest Galaxy S22 series in online and offline channels.
“Similarly, demand for the aggressively discounted iPhone 13 outstripped the latest iPhone 14, whose value proposition is very similar to the former,” said Chaurasia.
5G devices are gaining in popularity, supporting overall device ASP growth and sales revenue.
“It is perfect timing for vendors to push their 5G portfolios to smartphone upgraders in the next couple of years, as operators are rolling out 5G services in tier 1 cities. Entry-level brands are also trying to capitalize on 5G opportunities,” said the analyst.