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Smartphone shipments in India dropped by 16% in first quarter of 2023, IDC says

Smartphone shipments in India dropped by 16% in first quarter of 2023, IDC says
Despite an 11.4% fall in smartphone shipments in Q1 2023, Samsung had the highest market share in the country.


Smartphone shipments in India declined by 16% year-on-year in the January-March quarter, according to a report by International Data Corporation. Realme recorded the highest shipment decline in India in Q1 2023, followed by another Chinese major Xiaomi.


Preliminary data by IDC’s tracker noted that 31 million smartphones were shipped in the country in Q1 2023, a fall of 16% on-year and the lowest first-quarter shipments in four years. “Consumer demand remained sluggish amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions and inventory levels were elevated because of high stocking in 2H22,” IDC said; noting that the average selling price reached an all-time high of US$265.


Higher-priced handset share, which cost more than US$600, rose to 11%. It was 4% in the same quarter a year ago. The share of 5G phones also increased to 45%, up from 31% in Q1 2022. IDC India Research Manager Client Devices Upasana Joshi expects that penetration of 5G devices will continue to increase.


“5G smartphones continue to increase penetration in the low-end price segment and we should expect a strong 5G play in the US$150<US$300 segment in 2H23 as high-end 4G models vacate the space,” Joshi said. With over a quarter, Samsung led the 5G smartphone shipment in January-March. The launch of affordable 5G phones and the Galaxy S23 series helped the South Korean consumer tech giant climb the top slot of smartphone shipment in India after more than five years.


Despite an 11.4% fall in smartphone shipments in Q1 2023, Samsung had the highest 20.1% market share in the country. Vivo stood in the second spot with the lowest 1.1% decline in shipments and a market share of 17.7%. Oppo reported a decline of 19.6% in shipments and a 17.6% market share in the last quarter. Xiaomi’s smartphone shipment declined by 41.1% with a market share of 16.4%. Realme was in the fifth spot with the highest shipment decline of 52.2% and a market share of 9.4% in the first quarter of this year.


The report highlighted that smartphone shipments to online channels dropped significantly, as compared to offline channels. Furthermore, IDC expects the growth of the smartphone market in the country to remain flat in 2023 as the second half of the year could see growth owing to festive offers.


“The second half of the year can bring some growth if brands bring attractive festive offerings across the channels to drive affordability. This can be facilitated by consumer optimism on the back of Cricket World Cup (hosted by India), a few key state elections, followed by Union elections in 2024,” said IDC Associate Vice President – Devices Research Navkendar Singh.


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