Counterpoint: Indian smartphone market declines in Q3

Counterpoint Research released a quarterly analysis of the Indian smartphone market. Figures for the third quarter of 2022 show an overall decline of 11% in full-year sales to 45 million units. This was India's first annual decline in the July-September period, mainly due to pent-up demand in the third quarter of 2022 and a drop in demand in the second quarter of 2022 due to global macroeconomic conditions.

During the three-month period, Xiaomi remained in the top spot, but Samsung managed to close the gap, as the South Korean company was one of the few to achieve annual growth, Apple reached its highest-ever share in India at 5%, with the iPhone 13 becoming the best-selling model in the third quarter.

Counterpoint senior research analyst Prachir Singh revealed that the market exited with high inventories in the second quarter of 2022, which led to little demand next. Entry-level and budget-level markets were the most affected, with unfavorable macroeconomic conditions also set to continue in the fourth quarter.

According to the report, 32% of all smartphones support 5G. The share of 5G handsets is expected to grow even more as India has started the rollout of 5G and users are eager to upgrade their devices.

Feature phone sales fell 24%, bringing the total decline in handset shipments to 15% year over year. The current economic situation affects mainly low-income households, or "bottom-of-the-pyramid users," as Counterpoint puts it. The leader in feature phones has been itel for the third year in a row, and that remains unchanged in Q3 2022.

Xiaomi's lead fell, mainly due to low demand for mid-range and entry-level phones. Samsung managed to narrow its lead with attractive deals on Galaxy M and Galaxy F smartphones, while Vivo took third place with strong sales from its V-series and iQOO sub-brands.

If all brands were put under the same umbrella, Transsion may have climbed to fifth place. The conglomerate, which owns itel, Infinix, and Tecno, recorded 12% of sales, driven by strong demand for the Tecno Pop 5 LTE and Spark Go 2022 - two devices priced under INR 8,000.

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