Indian Smartphone Market Crosses 15 Million Units in Q4 2020, Xiaomi and Samsung Grabs Maximum Market Share: Counterpoint


The Indian smartphone market has seen a modest 4 per cent decline during the Q4 of 2020. The market crossed 100 million units in the second half of 2020 for the first time despite facing several problems due to COVID-19 pandemic. As per the data released by Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, there was a high demand for smartphones post-lockdown. Moreover, new use cases like e-learning and work from home drove the smartphone market in the pandemic-hit year. Moving on, the report also highlights that Xiaomi is able to grab the first position in terms of shipments closely followed by Samsung and more. Let’s take a closer look at the latest data released by Counterpoint.

Indian smartphone market grew despite facing hurdles

The report highlights that the Indian smartphone market has grown 19 per cent year-on-year in Q4 as compared to the same quarter last year. The primary reason behind the increase is the new use cases like work for home, e-learning and festive season offers.

Q4 2020 as the festive season offers got extended, when compared to Q4 2019, due to Diwali falling on November 14. India’s mobile handset market declined 9 per cent YoY in 2020 due to a decline in feature phone shipments. The feature phone market registered a 20 per cent YoY decline in 2020 as consumers in this segment were the worst hit by the lockdowns. However, Itel grew 26% YoY in the feature phone segment and became the market leader in 2020.

Xiaomi grabs first position followed by Samsung

The report highlights that Xiaomi registered the top spot with a strong 13 per cent YoY growth. The brand grabbed 26 per cent of market share in Q4 of 2020. The company ramped-up its production through partnerships with more EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) players. Furthermore, the brand focused on the premium segment with its Mi 10 series this year. Also, the report adds that there was a strong demand for the Redmi 9 and Redmi Note 9 series of smartphones. This coupled with aggressive offers during the festive season helped Xiaomi to maintain the lead.

Samsung slipped to the second position in Q4 2020, however, it manages to show 30 per cent YoY growth. The company had a great year as it was able to recapture its grasps in the market. The company was aggressive on online channels and introduced smartphones across different price points. Samsung was quite aggressive with its channels and go-to-market strategies for its mid-tier portfolio, like the Galaxy M and A-series.

Vivo, Realme, and OPPO were in Top 5

Vivo was able to grab the third position in the Q4 of 2020 with a market share of 15 per cent. The company was the top offline brand in 2020, though it registered a decline of 13 per cent YoY due to the pandemic.

Moving on, Realme showed 22 per cent growth in 2020 and was able to cross 20 million units mark for the first time. The company has able to create high demands on the online platforms along with strong shipments of its C-series and Narzo series.

OPPO also showed a healthy upward curve as it shipments grew 11 per cent YoY in 2020 while remaining flat in Q4 2020. One of the most popular smartphones for the company was OPPO A12 and A53.

Apple and OnePlus saw a great quarter

Counterpoint notes that Apple and OnePlus had a great Q4 2020. Starting with Apple, it was able to grab the sixth position in Q4 of 2020 with 171 per cent YoY growth in Q4 and 93 per cent YoY growth in 2020. The new iPhone 12 series played an important role. Furthermore, the aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11 along with online expansion plans helped the brand to cross 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter.

OnePlus also experienced 200 per cent YoY growth in Q4 2020. The growth is driven by its mid-range Nord series and the newly launched 8T series. It re-entered the mid-segment with the Nord series, which made it possible to cross 3 million shipments in a year for the first time.