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Smartphone shipments in India to stabilize after three quarters of decline: Report

A man takes a photo on a Samsung multi-camera phone in Old Delhi, India on October 28, 2022.

Nasir Kachru | NurPhoto | Getty Images

India’s smartphone market stabilized in the second quarter with 36.1 million units shipped, according to a Canalys report.

This figure represents a 1% drop from last year, much better than the 20% drop in the first quarter. Shipments also fell by 27% and 6% in the fourth and third quarters of 2022, respectively.

“After a few troubling quarters, the market finally picked up momentum in the second half,” said Sanyam Chaurazia, an analyst at Canalys. “During the 2nd quarter, there was a slight improvement in macro indicators with increased output and lower inflation.”

The market grew 18% quarter-on-quarter as inventory levels improved, which Canalys attributes to an improved business environment.

“Smartphone vendors are adapting to a dynamic business environment while focusing on long-term sustainability,” Chaurazia said.

Samsung continued to dominate in the second quarter, claiming an 18% market share with 6.6 million shipments, according to Canalys. Vivo followed with 6.4 million phones, while Xiaomi came in third with 5.4 million shipments.

India is already the world’s second-largest smartphone market and is likely to add 300 million new internet users, Varun Mishra, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research, previously told CNBC.

Chaurazia said he expects the companies to promote their affordable 5G portfolios during the Cricket World Cup in India in October.

He noted that risks such as uncertainty surrounding the rainy season could dampen demand. However, Chaurasia said the government wants to boost demand ahead of next year’s national elections.

Physical sales still matter

Canalys noted that consumers in India prefer to buy phones offline, and this has shaped the country’s retail strategy.

In April an apple opened two retail stores in Delhi and Mumbai. In the same month, Samsung announced that it will open 15 premium stores across India in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai by the end of the year.

“Offline consumer demand, both in rural and urban areas, has grown due to strong consumer preference for retail,” Chaurazia said.

“On the other hand, online demand has been inconsistent and mainly driven by urban consumers during e-commerce sale periods,” he said, adding that vendors are aiming for a better balance between offline and online sales.

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