Counterpoint’s latest report shows that smartphone shipments in India have increased by 23% year-on-year and will exceed 38 million in the first quarter of 2021. This is the highest shipment volume in the first quarter ever. New product releases, promotions, and pent-up demand since 2020 have driven the growth of the smartphone market in the first quarter of 2021.
Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2021
Due to the strong performance in feature phones and smart phones, the Indian mobile phone market grew 19% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021. Driven by strong shipments of JioPhone under new models and subsequent promotional activities, the feature phone market achieved a year-on-year growth of 14% in the quarter. However, itel leads the feature phone market with a 21% market share in the first quarter of 2021.
India’s mobile phone market share in the first quarter of 2021
Xiaomi retained its dominant position in the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2021, with a year-on-year growth of 4%. Redmi 9A is the best-selling model this quarter. In the past 1.5 years, Xiaomi re-entered the mid-to-high-end market with its latest 5G product, Mi 10i 5G, and performed strongly in this segment. In response to strong demand, the brand has expanded its production base by cooperating with more EMS partners (such as BYD and DBG).
Samsung is still the second largest brand of smartphone shipments in India, with a year-on-year growth of 52%. After actively entering online channels in 2020, Samsung is trying to gain share through offline. Samsung has provided its online exclusive F series through offline channels, and is now launching new products through two channels.
Vivo grew by 16% year-on-year and maintained its third position in the first quarter of 2021. It launched the latest flagship X60 series with advanced camera functions, continuing the development momentum of the previous X50 series. The X series has won more market share for vivo in the high-end market.
Realme fell 4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but managed to maintain its fourth position in the market. With its latest Narzo series and realme X series, realme has reduced the price of 5G smartphones. Narzo 30 Pro 5G was the cheapest 5G smartphone product in the country during the quarter. In addition, the brand is expanding the coverage of its offline channels.
OPPO increased by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, with a market share of 11%. OPPO’s first 5G product launched in the first quarter of 2021 is OPPO Reno 5 Pro 5G, which occupies a 3% market share in 5G smartphone shipments in India.
TRANSSION’s brands (itel, Infinix and TECNO) grew by 81% year-on-year, collectively accounted for 7% of the market, and climbed to the second place in the entire Indian mobile phone market. Driven by A48 and A23, itel became the number one brand below INR 6,000. Since entering the Indian smart phone market, TRANSSION’s cumulative shipments of smart phones have exceeded the 10 million mark.
In the first quarter of 2021, Apple grew by 207% year-on-year, maintaining a leading position in the high-end market segment, with a share of nearly 48%. Strong demand for the iPhone 11, coupled with the aggressive pricing of the iPhone SE 2020 and the expansion of “Made in India”, are factors driving this growth. Apple also achieved shipments of more than 1 million units for two consecutive quarters.
OnePlus grew by more than 300% year-on-year, and OnePlus Nord was the best-selling 5G smartphone model this quarter.