There’s no denying that, even in post-lockdown India, demand for smartphones is still strong – but why can supply not keep up?
According to recent reports from the Indian press, so far in July smartphones sales are down 30-40 percent. But the reason is not customer lack of interest (or lack of money).
The shortage of new smartphones has been, in part at least, because of supply chain constraints hitting manufacturers and retailers thanks to slow-moving import processes and production delays.
Various market research groups are indicating that both physical retail and online channels are short of stocks for almost all brands. Sales will continue to be hit, not least after the widely reported custom clearance delays of late June.
These were a consequence of the China-India border conflict in mid-June, which led to 100 percent manual checking of Chinese cargo at ports and airports between 22-30 June. This in turn led to a ten-day backlog in supplies of phones and parts.
While the import delays may have been meant to target China, the lack of components and devices is affecting Indian businesses too, though the situation is expected to ease soon. And of course regional lockdowns caused by the coronavirus may also have had an effect, with localised restrictions meaning some shops are, or have been, shut.