India’s smartphone shipments fell to 151.6 million units in 2022, declining by 6 per cent compared with 2021, according to market research firm Canalys. The major drop in shipments was recorded in the fourth-quarter (CYQ4, 2022), falling by 27 per cent to 32.4 million units.
“India was better positioned to weather the global downturn than other markets. But domestic consumer spending cooled in the last few months of 2022,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, Analyst at Canalys. “Even during the festive season, the domestic market suffered a fall in transactions, retail spending and electronic imports. In 2022, consumers already had up-to-date technology that they had bought during the pandemic, thereby delaying further purchases. This led to smartphone brands struggling with inventory management because demand was subdued. Vendor channel management strategies became more important than ever. The mid-to-high-end segment performed well this year, which will further catalyze the upgrade cycle.”
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi remained the leading brand in 2022, but lost its leadership position in CYQ4 2022 and fell to third place in the same quarter with shipments of 5.5 million units. Realme is another Chinese smartphone brand that faced a downward trend with shipments touching 2.7 million units in the same quarter.
South Korean company Samsung, which lost its leadership position to Xiaomi in CYQ3 2017, regained the leadership spot in CYQ4 2022 with 6.7 million units shipped for a market share of 21 per cent. Number two and three positions in the same quarter were captured by Chinese brands Vivo and OPPO, respectively. Vivo shipped 6.4 million units, mainly through its offline channels. OPPO shipped 5.4 million units in the same quarter.
“Vendors that were focused predominantly on online channels suffered from a poor ecommerce festive sales performance in Q4 2022,” added Chaurasia. “Xiaomi aimed to clear out inventory of its older models using the ecommerce channel. But, due to poor ecommerce festive sales performance, Xiaomi and realme saw significant stockpiling of their products in online channels in Q4 2022. At the same time, in tier-three and tier-four cities, vivo and OPPO focused on offline channels, which helped them to be the only vendors to grow year on year. With strength in the retail channel to drive volume, Samsung continues to target consumers across routes to market.”
On the global front, the smartphone shipments fell by 17 per cent (year-on-year) in Q4 2022, with entire 2022 shipments declining by 11 per cent to fewer than 1.2 billion, according to Canalys.
Despite shrinking demand and manufacturing issues in China’s Zhengzhou, Apple reclaimed the top spot in Q4 and achieved its highest quarterly market share ever at 25 per cent, according to market research firm Canalys. Samsung finished the quarter second with a 20 per cent market share but was the largest vendor for the full year.