Xiaomi retained its position as a market leader as smartphone shipments in India grew 11 percent year-over-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021), a new report has shown. A total of 37.1 million smartphones were in the country. As per the findings by Canalys, the growth is attributed to “favourable macroeconomic factors” that allowed the smartphone vendors to capitalise on the growing importance of smartphones for remote education as well as and work from home and leisure for Millennials during the COVID-19 crisis.
As per the Canalys Smartphone Market Pulse of Q1 2021, Xiaomi topped the table again with its 10.5 million shipments accounting for a 28 percent of the market share in India. It was followed by Samsung, that shipped 7 million units capturing a market share of 19 percent — down from 21 percent in the previous quarter. Vivo grabbed the third spot with 6.7 million shipments, Oppo grabbed fourth spot with 4.7 million units, and Realme completed the top five rankings with 4.3 million shipments in the quarter that ended on March 31, 2021.
On YoY basis, Xiaomi’s market share reduced from 31 percent to 28 percent, Samsung’s share remained 19 percent, Vivo registered a drop from 20 percent to 10 percent, Oppo’s share increased from 10 percent to 13 percent, Realme’s market share remained at 12 percent, and there was a 2 percent increase in share of other smartphones players in the Indian market. It is to be noted that the smartphone shipments in the India market declined on a quarter over quarter basis in Q1 2021. Smartphone shipments in India in Q4 2020 were 43.9 million units, as per a report by Canalys.
“In Q1, as COVID-19 appeared to subside, the market saw a wide range of device offerings and a revived offline channel that catalysed demand,” the report said. As per Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia, Xiaomi’s continued focus on its multi-brand strategy in established online channels, and new initiatives, such as Mi Store on Wheels to grow its offline presence helped the company retain its top spot.
“In the premium segment, Apple had a stellar performance in what is traditionally a soft quarter. Following a strong festival quarter, it shipped over a million iPhones in Q1, with demand for the iPhone 12 supported by local assembly and attractive finance offers, as well as sustained demand for the older iPhone 11. But the market-wide celebration will be short lived, as a resurgence of Covid-19 in India in Q2 will derail momentum,” Chaurasia highlighted.
Regional lockdowns could hamper transport of raw materials and devices, that may be a hurdle for smartphone brands to build up optimum inventory in the second half of the year. Another Canalys Analyst, Varun Kannan, said that a combination of the “ongoing supply crunch on key imported components and a weaker Rupee will make it increasingly difficult for vendors to maintain margins at current price levels”.