India smartphone market remains stable in 2023 as shipments fall 2% to 148.6 mn units: Canalys

India smartphone market remains stable in 2023 as shipments fall 2% to 148.6 mn units: Canalys

NEW DELHI: The India smartphone market remained stable in 2023 as shipments minorly fell 2% to 148.6 million units, according to the latest data released by Canalys on Thursday. The research firm now expects a mid-single-digit growth this year driven by affordable 5G handsets and the pandemic period replacement cycle, however, rising bill-of-materials may become a challenge.

“The market demonstrated resilience,” said Canalys, attributing it to improved consumer confidence in the latter part of the year, and despite vendors facing inventory challenges, minimal inflation improvements, and fluctuating demand for most of the year.

Samsung was the market leader in Q4 2023 with 7.6 million units shipped for a 20% share, whereas for the full year, it clocked shipments of 28.4 million units and a 19% share.

Second-ranked Vivo’s shipments grew in CY2023 by 3% year-over-year to 26.1 million units and its market share expanded from 17% in 2022 to 18% in 2023. Third-ranked Xiaomi’s shipments tanked 15% year-over-year to 25.1 million which eroded its market share from 20% in 2022 to 17% in 2023

Realme, in the fourth position, recorded the highest fall in shipments at 16% year-over-year to 17.4 million units, and its market share shrunk from 14% in 2022 to 12% in 2023. Fifth-ranked Oppo’s shipments also fell 7% year-over-year, but its market share remained unchanged at 11%.

“In 2023, growing investment in mainline retail space proved beneficial not only for vendors but also allowed the overall market to stabilize,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, Senior Analyst at Canalys.

According to him, brands such as Xiaomi and Realme saw their highest offline shipment share in Q4, while Xiaomi democratised its portfolio, contributing equally to offline and online channels, making its highest offline channel contribution quarter.

Xiaomi’s Redmi 12 5G and recently launched Redmi 13C series contributed to its offline share, each surpassing a million shipments. Similarly, Realme also shipped devices with equal channel contribution, with the Narzo series driven by ecommerce, while the remaining portfolio continued to dominate offline channels, as per the analyst.

“To further enhance their positions in the premium space, brands should continually focus on bolstering the confidence of their channel partners,” said Chaurasia.

Smartphone brands in India capitalised on the robust festival season demand and propelled Q4 shipments to 38.9 million units, a strong 20% year-over-year rebound.

Samsung maintained pole position in Q4 2023 with a market share of 20% and shipments of 7.6 million units. Xiaomi continued its robust performance, claiming second place by shipping 7.2 million units. Vivo secured third position with shipments of 7.0 million units, while Realme and Oppo (excluding OnePlus) rounded out the top five by shipping 4.5 million and 3.7 million units, respectively, as per Canalys data.

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