In the third quarter (July-September) of 2023, India’s smartphone market witnessed stagnant growth, even though Apple recorded its highest-ever quarterly shipments. The market shows signs of recovery after almost a year of decline, with consumer demand increasing as the festive season approaches. Consequently, smartphone manufacturers plan to introduce exciting offers and new products during the upcoming festive season. Industry experts predict that this surge in promotional activities and consumer interest might result in a significant increase in smartphone sales, revitalizing India’s smartphone market in the last quarter of 2023.
New product launches and festive season preparations
During Q3 2023, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) focused on introducing new products and supplying retailers for the festive season. Prominent launches featured budget-friendly smartphones with 5G and 8GB RAM, priced below INR 10,000 (~$120). This aggressive pricing strategy enabled these OEMs to capture a substantial market share and attract a wider range of consumers. Furthermore, the merger of advanced technology and affordability made these devices the top choice for many customers looking to upgrade their phones during the festive season.
Anticipating market expansion
Shilpi Jain, Senior Research Analyst, anticipates that the Indian smartphone market will grow in the coming quarter due to unmet demand, an extended festive period, and rapid 5G adoption. This expansion is expected to be driven by a surge in online sales, enticing offers from major brands, and the introduction of new products with improved features catering to consumer needs. Also, with better internet infrastructure and increased digital literacy, more consumers from rural areas are expected to join the smartphone user base, significantly contributing to market growth.
Market share rankings and Apple’s achievements
For the fourth consecutive quarter, Samsung retained the highest market share at 17.2%, driven by sales of its A and M series. Xiaomi ranked second with 16.6%, followed by Vivo at 15.9%. In this competitive environment, Apple secured the fourth position with a 14.8% market share, mostly fueled by the successful launch of the iPhone 12 series. Meanwhile, OPPO managed to claim the fifth spot with an 11.2% market share, mainly due to the solid performance of its budget offerings.
Apple’s record-breaking quarterly shipments surpassed 2.5 million units, while OnePlus dominated the affordable premium segment with a 29% share. This impressive growth demonstrates the strong demand for high-end and affordable premium smartphones. Consumers are increasingly attracted to the innovative features and value offerings of these devices, contributing to the overall success of Apple and OnePlus globally.
Fastest-growing brands and YoY growth
Vivo was the fastest-growing brand among the top five, with an 11% year-over-year (YoY) increase. Overall, Transsion brands experienced the highest YoY growth of 41%, while Apple’s YoY growth reached 34%. Vivo’s impressive growth can be attributed to its robust product portfolio and expansion strategies in various markets. In contrast, Transsion’s success is driven by its dominance in the African market, and Apple’s growth is largely due to its recent iPhone 12 series, well-received by consumers worldwide.
Apple’s best quarter in India
The third quarter of 2023, it marked Apple’s most successful shipment quarter in India. Notably, the tech giant saw a significant increase in its market share, primarily driven by the growing popularity of the iPhone 11 and the new iPhone SE. Consumers were drawn to the combination of advanced features, sleek designs, and competitive pricing, resulting in a surge in demand for Apple products throughout the country.
Accelerated 5G adoption
Further analysis revealed a rapid increase in 5G smartphone adoption, accounting for 53% of shipments in Q3 2023. This growth was fueled by OEMs launching several products in the INR 10,000-INR 15,000 (~$120-$180) price range. The influx of affordable 5G devices significantly contributed to making the technology more accessible to a broader consumer base. Additionally, competitive pricing strategies by manufacturers brought the benefits of 5G to a more extensive array of potential users, ultimately leading to rapid growth in adoption rates across the market.
The ultra-premiumization trend – devices priced above INR 45,000 (~$540) – is gradually gaining momentum, witnessing a 44% YoY growth in Q3 2023. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for high-end features such as advanced camera technology, enhanced performance, and extended battery life. Moreover, consumers are becoming more willing to invest in premium smartphones with better build quality and after-sales support, thereby fueling the expansion of the ultra-premium category.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the state of India’s smartphone market in Q3 2023?
India’s smartphone market in Q3 2023 experienced stagnant growth, while Apple recorded its highest-ever quarterly shipments. The market showed signs of recovery after a year of decline, and manufacturers planned to launch exciting offers and new products during the festive season.
Which new products were launched in Q3 2023?
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) launched budget-friendly smartphones with 5G and 8GB RAM, priced below INR 10,000 (~$120). The aggressive pricing strategy helped them capture a significant market share and attract a wide range of consumers.
What factors are expected to contribute to market growth in the future?
Unmet demand, an extended festive period, rapid 5G adoption, surge in online sales, enticing offers from major brands, the introduction of new products with improved features, better internet infrastructure, and increased digital literacy are some of the factors expected to contribute to market growth.
Which brands had the highest market shares in Q3 2023?
Samsung held the highest market share at 17.2%, followed by Xiaomi at 16.6%, Vivo at 15.9%, Apple at 14.8%, and OPPO at 11.2%.
Why was Q3 2023 Apple’s best quarter in India?
Apple’s Q3 2023 success can be attributed to the growing popularity of the iPhone 11 and the new iPhone SE, which offered advanced features, sleek designs, and competitive pricing, resulting in a surge in demand for Apple products in India.
What percentage of smartphone shipments in Q3 2023 were 5G devices?
5G smartphone adoption accounted for 53% of shipments in the third quarter of 2023. This growth was fueled by OEMs launching several products in the INR 10,000-INR 15,000 (~$120-$180) price range, making the technology more accessible to a broader consumer base.
What is the ultra-premiumization trend?
The ultra-premiumization trend refers to devices priced above INR 45,000 (~$540) gradually gaining momentum. This growth is due to increasing demand for high-end features such as advanced camera technology, enhanced performance, and extended battery life, as well as consumers’ willingness to invest in premium smartphones with better build quality and after-sales support.
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