Smartphone shipments in India have seen the fastest growth ever, with an 11% year-on-year increase to reach 169 million units in 2021, according to a market research report. The significant growth in smartphone shipments is accompanied by a record increase in revenue generated by the market. While Xiaomi maintained its leadership in the smartphone market in India, Samsung recorded its highest average retail selling price (ASP) for the year. 5G phone shipments in the country also marked the highest growth ever in 2021. Along with smartphones, the overall handset market also grew in 2021. However, feature phone shipments showed steady growth.
Market research and consulting firm Counterpoint said on Monday that high replacement demand, supported by increased accessibility of smartphones in the mid- and high-end price ranges due to promotions and discounts, as well as better financing options, has resulted in an annual growth of 11%. in the Indian market in 2021.
As for revenue, the company said that the retail ASP of the smartphone market in the country grew by 14% year-on-year in 2021, reaching an all-time high of $227 (approximately Rs 17,000).
Counterpoint also noted that the Indian smartphone market revenue surpassed US$38 billion (approximately Rs. 2,83,900 crore) in 2021, with a growth of 27% year on year.
Xiaomi continued to lead the market in India in 2021, with annual growth of 2%. The Chinese company grew up to 258 percent in the premium segment comprising phones above Rs. 30,000 price points. However, component shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of the year impacted volumes in the mass market segment, Counterpoint said.
After Xiaomi, Samsung remained the second biggest player in the Indian market. The South Korean company grew 8% year on year in terms of shipments. The latest report also shows that Samsung has emerged as the leading brand for 5G smartphone shipments in the country in Q4 2021.
Likewise, Samsung topped the Rs. 20,000 – R$ 45,000 segments with a 28% share. Shipments of the company’s foldable devices that make up the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip series grew 388% year-over-year, Counterpoint noted.
In 2021, Realme became the fastest growing brand in the country, with 20% year-over-year growth. The company also took second place in the second quarter of 2021, the company said.
In addition to Realme, Apple was one of the fastest growing brands in the country in 2021. The iPhone maker received 108% year-over-year growth in shipments. It also maintained its leadership in the premium segment with a 44% share, according to Counterpoint.
On the 5G smartphone front, the latest report shows that 5G shipments in the country saw a 555% year-on-year growth in 2021. This is due to the fact that most companies started bringing their 5G phones to market last year. .
Vivo became the country’s top 5G smartphone brand in 2021. The company captured a 19% share, marking a 2% year-over-year growth. Counterpoint also noted that Vivo remained the leader in the offline segment, in addition to strengthening its presence in the online segment through its iQoo sub-brand.
Vivo’s sister Oppo ranked fifth in the market, with annual growth of 6%. Counterpoint said the company is the fastest growing brand in the premium segment.
Alongside Vivo and Oppo, Chinese competitor Transsion Group, which owns Itel, Infinix and Tecno brands in the market, recorded 55% annual growth in India in 2021 and surpassed 10 million shipments in a single year. The trio also maintained its third position in the overall mobile phone market in India, with Itel being the biggest player in the feature phone market segment for the past two consecutive years, according to the report.
Oppo’s subsidiary OnePlus achieved its highest-ever shipments in the country in 2021, according to Counterpoint. The company recorded a 59% year-on-year growth, surpassing five million shipments. Growth was driven by the OnePlus Nord series.
OnePlus also led the affordable premium segment which includes phones ranging from Rs. 30,000 – R$ 45,000 segments. The company also captured a 19% share and the second position in the premium segment, according to Counterpoint.
“Demand outstripped supply in the last two quarters of 2021,” Counterpoint senior research analyst Prachir Singh said in a prepared statement. “During the fourth quarter of 2021, the smartphone market was down 8% year-on-year. We expect the supply situation to improve going forward and reach normality by the end of the first quarter of 2022.”
Counterpoint research analyst Shilpi Jain said that price increases in the budget segment due to rising component prices, OEMs’ increasing focus on the premium segment and increased demand for mid-range and premium smartphones due to the Increased usage and availability of financing options have contributed to the growing ASP of smartphones in India.
“Local manufacturing has rebounded, contributing 98% of shipments in 2021, compared to 90% in 2020,” Jain said. “The PLI scheme has been a huge driver for the Indian mobile device manufacturing ecosystem, attracting big players like Apple and Samsung to increase their ‘Make in India’ footprint and make India their export hub.”
She added that handset exports in the country also saw an annual increase of 26% in 2021.
Unlike the smartphone market alone, the overall mobile phone market in the country in 2021 was once again dominated by Samsung. The company had a 17 percent stake.
Feature phone shipments in the country reached 86 million units in the year. While Itel led the market, Lava, Samsung and Jio were the remaining competitors on the list of the country’s top four cellphone vendors, Counterpoint said.
Last week, Canalys said in its report that the smartphone market in India grew by 12% in 2021, despite a difficult start to the year due to the second wave of COVID-19.