India’s smartphone shipments grew just 2 percent in the first quarter of 2022, Realme sees strong growth: Canalys

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The smartphone market in India had a tough start to the year due to supply shortages, and saw shipments increase slightly by 2 percent in the period January-March (Q1) in 2022, according to a report by market research firm Canalys. Following the past trend, Xiaomi enjoyed the lion’s share of smartphone shipments in India while Samsung secured second place. Realme ranked third, posting strong 40 percent YoY growth in shipments. Other BBK subsidiaries, Vivo and Oppo, made fourth and fifth place respectively in the reporting period. Canalys said disruptions in the supply chain are preventing leading smartphone brands like Xiaomi and Vivo from meeting demand for their low-end models.

That report von Canalys said smartphone shipments in India reached 38 million units in the first quarter of 2022, growing at 2 percent annually. Last year, 37.1 million smartphone shipments were recorded in the first quarter.

Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi made the largest contribution to smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2022 with 8 million shipments and a market share of 25 percent. The company’s annual shipments fell 24 percent. Samsung shipped 6.9 million devices and its market share stands at 6.9 percent during the said period. The South Korean brand’s annual growth fell 2 percent.

Realme shipped 6 million products and experienced 40 percent annual growth with a 16 percent market share. Vivo achieved a 15 percent market share with 5.7 million units shipped, while Oppo received a 12 percent market share with 4.6 million units shipped. However, the annual growth of Vivo and Oppo in the first quarter of 2022 shrank by 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia describes supply as the biggest challenge for leading names like Xiaomi and Vivo. These brands have failed to secure components for their volume-boosting, low-end models. “Realme, Tecno and Itel have done remarkably well with a solid offering to take over the market leaders and satisfy low-end demand in the first quarter,” Chaurasia said in a prepared statement.

Smartphone vendors will start improving their numbers in March 2022, the report notes. Subordinate cities in India are expected to be major power sources for them.

Maintaining device affordability will be the biggest challenge for smartphone companies due to rising oil prices in India and high wholesale inflation. “Exchange rate volatility and higher operating costs due to inflation will, in turn, increase pressure on providers to maintain profitability. Now-pay-later partners are mushrooming throughout the ecosystem,” Chaurasia said.

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