The Trends in the smartphone market in 2021


According to GfK market intelligence, overall category sales in terms of units for offline retail (point-of-sale) increased by 4% in YTD Oct 2021 compared to 2020, while online retail sales increased by 29%.

During the same time frame, the contribution of the online channel to the smartphone market was 40% in terms of sales units. 

It was 41% in terms of sales value, relative to 35% in 2020. This reflects growing customer trust and the digitization of purchasing processes, which is driving online retail’s contribution to overall smartphone category sales.

When it comes to price trends, GfK Market Intelligence point-of-sale data shows a 56 per cent increase in sales units for premium smartphones priced between 30k and 40k.

Sales of smartphones costing more than 40k increased by 41%, demonstrating the growing demand for luxury devices in the Indian smartphone industry.

Kartik Vasudevan, Director – Sales,  GfK India expressed his views, Markets have shifted from a “want” to a “need” mindset; it’s no longer only about the product/device, but also about the consumer’s ‘Lifestyle.’

Consumers have resorted to technology to continue working and learning while at home, resulting in a shift in purchase decisions. Consumers are eager to spend on products that promise quality and longevity as the @home trend continues. He added.

The regional penetration of the smartphone market is also shown by GfK research. Overall smartphone sales in tier 5 and above cities with populations of 50k or more increased by 11% in offline retail for the year ended October 2021/2020, followed by a 7% increase in tier 3 cities.

Although the 15k price bracket continues to dominate the smartphone industry, luxury devices are seeing an uptick in sales as mobile phones have effectively become the first digital touchpoint or device to access the internet.

The market is cautiously optimistic, with the interaction of domestic manufacturing, imports, transportation costs, and raw material prices dictating the market.

Xiaomi maintained its dominance, but shipments fell by 17% year on year. With a YoY loss of -33 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, Samsung came in second among the top five vendors.

 Vivo was in third place, with a 13 per cent drop in shipping year over year. With a YoY reduction of 5%, realme, in fourth place, had the best performance among the top five vendors. In the third quarter of 2021, OPPO, which was ranked fifth, saw a 16 per cent YoY decline.

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