India only smartphone market in top 3 to witness growth in Sep quarter; Xiaomi retains top slot  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Chinese cellphone and electronics maker Xiaomi has retained its top slot in the Indian market for yet another quarter. Samsung and Vivo occupy the second and third positions respectively in terms of number of smartphones shipped during the July-September quarter this year.
According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, India was the only smartphone market in the top 3 to witness growth, as both the China and US markets declined year-over-year (YoY) in the July-September 2020 quarter.
A record 54.3 million units were shipped during the quarter with 17% YoY growth in the crucial third quarter of the year. The reopening of the country with fewer restrictions was further fueled by pent-up demand in July and August and channel stocking in September to meet the upcoming Diwali quarter demand.
e-tailers led the online channel share reaching an all-time high of 48%, growing by a healthy 24% YoY. Cautious consumers preferred online purchases as they were driven by promotions and sale events by e-commerce players.
Offline sales registered a moderate 11% YoY growth after a challenging first half of the year, IDC said.
IDC said it expects growth to continue for the online channel, driven by more affordability initiatives and pricing aggression in comparison to offline channels during the festive months, even as supply starts to normalize for the offline channels.
In the same period, 84.8 million smartphones were shipped in China in the third quarter of 2020, down 14.3% year-on-year (YoY). This was the result of multiple factors: soft demand; Huawei’s supply constraints; and delayed flagship launches from both Huawei and Apple.
Xiaomi retains top slot, Samsung second
Xiaomi which has continued to maintain its dominant position in India for over 3 years, shipped 13.5 million units in the quarter under review registering a growth of 7% as compared to September quarter last year. Xiaomi’s Redmi 8A Dual, Redmi 8, and Redmi Note 9 were the top three models nationally despite Xiaomi facing supply constraints in the early weeks of the quarter.
Xiaomi was also the top-selling brand online with a 35% share, as POCO (sub-brand under Xiaomi) sales reached an all-time high of more than one million shipments. Samsung at the second slot registered strong YoY growth of 38% in the quarter ended September 30 with record shipments of 12.1 million units.
India became Samsung’s largest smartphone market globally, ahead of the US in the quarter, accounting for 15% of its global shipments. It maintained steady supplies through the quarter in comparison to China-based vendors, clubbed with more offerings in low-end and mid-range price segments. Samsung also benefited from the anti-Chinese sentiments prevailing in the initial weeks of the quarter, which soon vaporized in the latter half.
The online channel accounted for 43% of Samsung shipments, witnessing unprecedented growth in the quarter with the Galaxy M21 and M31 featuring in the top 5 online models nationally.