India's Smartphone Market Expected to Grow 10% in 2021 Despite 5G Push

India's Smartphone Market Expected to Grow 10% in 2021 Despite 5G Push

According to a new report, the Indian smartphone market is expected to grow potentially over 10 percent (year-on-year) in 2021 and 5G shipments are likely to grow tenfold to cross 30 million units this year.

Anand Priya Singh, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR says, "In 2021 and beyond, the smartphone industry would gain strength, driven by feature phone users transiting to entry-level smartphones, and new, powerful offerings across price tiers, including 5G-capable smartphone offerings at mid to lower price tiers, including in the Rs 20,000 price band."

Although the 5G network would not be available until late 2022 or early 2023 in the country, smartphone vendors such as OnePlus and realms are bullish on launching 5G-ready devices for the masses, says the market research firm CMR.

OnePlus was the highest contributor in the 5G smartphone segment in 2020, capturing 58 percent market share, followed by Apple at 20 percent with its iPhone 12 series. Earlier this month, realme launched X7 5G and X7 Pro 5G smartphones in India as the company aims to become a "5G leader" in the country.

In a statement, Anand further adds, "As a consequence of the supply chain and geo-political challenges, 2020 saw a gradual realignment of smartphone supply chains. Enterprises seeking to de-risk themselves from China looked at emerging alternatives, including India. As we move forward, we believe India's smartphone manufacturing ecosystem will get a fillip, and gain strength in the post-pandemic future."

The significant decline in the smartphone shipments in the H1 2020 encouraged the brands to come back strongly in H2 2020.

"Smartphone brands were able to turn around the story in H2 2020. As a consequence, the smartphone market saw a mere 3 per cent decline for the full year," says Amit Sharma, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.

The smartphone shipments exceeded 100 million for the first time in H2 2020 that is backed by aggressive marketing and attractive offers or discounts during the festive season and beyond.