In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit industries and businesses, a new report by Canalys for Q2 2020 shows how smartphone shipments in the country, as a whole, fell by 48% year-on-year. That is a drop from 33 million units in Q2 2019, to just about 17.3 million in Q2 2020.
As the countrywide lockdown began in March, smartphones were classified as non-essential goods, prohibiting platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart from distributing them anywhere within India. This deadlock lasted until mid-May. Even though shipments resumed, the timing for smartphone manufacturers was not perfect, as they were struggling to normalize their supply chains and production.
Another reason that led to this shrink in shipments was the Sino-Indian border conflict as t caused the decline of Chinese smartphone sales figures in India. Many people boycotted Chinese manufacturers for political reasons, however, Canalys stated that that even so, “the actual effects felt by those companies are not really too harsh, since the alternative products from Samsung, Nokia, or Apple have almost no price competitiveness”.
The biggest blow was delivered to smartphone brand Xiaomi, as it managed to only deliver 5.3 million units in Q2 2020, compared to 10.3 million in Q2 2019. Samsung saw a whopping 60% decline in its local sales. Overall, Chinese manufacturers comprised about 80% of the total smartphone sales in the country. Apple, however, took the smallest hit in sales, with Q2 sales of 250,000 units within the country representing a 20% year-on-year decline.
It has been a pretty turbulent time for the smartphone market in the country and many major Chinese manufacturers have been rushing to announce new models to try and make up for lost time and re-capture some of the lost market.