Three out of five smartphones sold above ₹45,000 in India were iPhones between Jan-March: Counterpoint

Three out of five smartphones sold above ₹45,000 in India were iPhones between Jan-March: Counterpoint
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  • Indian smartphone shipments have declined by 19% year-on-year in Q1 2023.
  • This is the third consecutive quarter to witness a decline in shipments.
  • Samsung continues to lead the overall market share, while Apple tops the premium smartphone segment.
India’s smartphone shipments have declined in Q1 2023, making it the third consecutive quarter to report a decline in shipments. This decline in shipments is the biggest-ever Q1 decline in Indian shipments.

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, the Indian smartphone market in Q1 2023 reported a 19% decline in shipments year-on-year. The decline has been attributed to sluggish demand, high inventory build-up from 2022, market conditions, and growing consumer preference for refurbished phones.

Indian smartphone shipments are down by 19%

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Q1 202238 million
Q2 202237 million
Q3 202245 million
Q4 202231.3 million
Q1 202331 million

Source: Counterpoint Research

The Indian smartphone shipments have declined from 38 million in Q1 2022 to around 31 million in Q1 2023, a decline of around 19%.

According to Counterpoint, consumer demand is concentrated around promotional periods, during which smartphone and e-commerce companies offer device discounts.

“We are observing a change in consumer behavior – demand is now concentrated around promotional periods. The beginning of the quarter saw a surge in demand across channels around the Republic Day sales period. However, demand dropped significantly after the sales period,” said, Shilpi Jain, analyst at Counterpoint Research.

Silver lining for 5G smartphones

Despite declining shipments, the market share of 5G smartphones has increased in overall shipments. 5G shipments reported a 23% year-on-year growth to record a 43% market share in overall shipments.

“We believe these situations will remain similar in Q2 2023 as well with growth coming back in the second half of the year owing to faster 5G upgrades, easing macroeconomic pressure and festive season,” Jain added.

Premium smartphone shipments remain unaffected

The decline in shipments was concentrated under the sub-₹30,000 segment. Smartphones priced above ₹30,000 reported an increase in shipments.

Devices above ₹45,000 reported a 66% year-on-year increase in shipments in Q1 2023, while smartphones priced between ₹30,000-₹45,000 reported a 60% increase in shipments.

The ₹20,000-₹30,000 segment reported a 33% decline in shipments, and the ₹10,000-₹20,000 segment reported the highest decline at 34%. The sub-₹10,000 segment reported a decline of 9%.

“The sub-₹10,000 price band continued to decline in Q1 2023, with its shipments falling 9% YoY. This segment is suffering declining demand due to an elongated replacement period, declining feature phone-to-smartphone migration, and lower presence of hero models,” said Prachir Singh, senior research analyst, Counterpoint Research.

Samsung takes the lead as Xiaomi loses market share

Samsung, which had a market share of 20% in Q1 2022, continued to hold the same market share, but a decline in Xiaomi’s market share pushed it to the top in Q2 2023. Samsung reported a 247% year-on-year growth in the above ₹45,000 segment, fueled by the Galaxy S23 series.

Xiaomi, which had a market share of 23% in Q1 2022, dropped to the third position after its market share declined to 16%. The report claims that one of the reasons for the decline in Xiaomi’s market share is the company’s dependence on the online segment, despite a higher demand in the offline segment.

Vivo, which has a strong offline and online presence, increased its market share from 15% in Q1 2022 to 17% in Q1 2023. This allowed the company to grab the second spot.

The fourth and fifth spots were grabbed by Oppo and Realme, respectively. Oppo’s market share increased from 9% to 12%, and Realme’s market share declined from 16% to 9%.

Three out of five devices sold above ₹45,000 was an iPhone

Cupertino giant Apple reported a 50% year-on-year shipment growth in Q1 2023, capturing 6% of the overall smartphone market in the country. The company captured 62% of the ultra-premium segment, which includes devices priced above ₹45,000. Meaning three out of five devices sold in this segment was an iPhone.

“The recent opening of its own retail stores in the country will further strengthen Apple’s brand image and lead to better growth avenues not just for iPhones but for the whole Apple ecosystem,” said Counterpoint Research in its report.


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