China retains smartphone lead in India despite tensions

China retains smartphone lead in India despite tensions

India clocked its highest ever number of smartphone shipments in Q3 2020, with online purchases booming.

Research firm Canalys reported that the majority of devices purchases were manufactured by Chinese vendors, despite an ongoing campaign by against the nation by the Indian government. Chinese-made devices accounted for 76% of shipments in Q3 2020, a 2% year-on-year increase.

Overall shipments were up 8% year-on-year to 50 million devices, with Canalys research analyst Varun Kannan noting that although political tensions had thus far failed to dramatically impact sales, Chinese vendors were taking precautions such as reducing their spend on marketing.

Xiaomi held on to its lead in the market with 13.1 million devices sold, a 9% year-on-year increase. South Korea’s Samsung rose to second place with 10.2 million, displacing China’s Vivo which dropped to third with 8.8 million. Realme and Oppo respectively shipped 8.7 million and 6.1 million to finish in the top five. Apple sold around 800,000 units, but this represented double-digit growth for the high-end device maker.

Canalys’s Adwait Mardikar noted that “while almost all vendors have shown positive shipment growth, the true winners are the online channels, which have been buoyed with a huge influx of devices ahead of the festive season.”

“As much of India remains physically disconnected, the smartphone has increasingly become a necessity not only for social connection, but also for entertainment, education, banking, payment and more,” he said, noting that reduced lockdown restrictions had “created the perfect atmosphere for sustained growth.”


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