India Likely To Miss the Expected Sales of Smartphones for 2020

A research company, techARC mentioned in its revised market forecast that the smartphone sales in India for this year are likely to miss the predicted target of 162 million units due to disruption caused by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Basic and mid-segment smartphones which are priced between Rs 5,001 and Rs 25,000 shall continue to account for more than 92% of the overall sales. Shipments within the entry segment that are below Rs 5,000 will dip, while shipments within the luxury segment which are below Rs 50,000 and above shall remain unaffected. 

Several buyers are anticipated to switch to low priced smartphones because of the financial uncertainties COVID-19 has caused.

The five top smartphone companies – Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo, will face a mild hit only since they quickly adapted to the changing market dynamics. Since many offline retail channels stayed closed due to partial lockdown, top smartphone vendors started leveraging O2O (online to offline) models, where the demand is analysed online and handled via offline retail stores.

Customers need to register their interest via a company’s online store, social media, or through a third-party online store. Following which the local offline retailers will be added to take the sales process ahead. Customers can either have their phone delivered to their residential address or pick it up from the store directly. 

Also Read: Smartphone Shipments to Decline by 12% Globally Due to COVID-19

Samsung also informed its offline retail partners to create their Facebook business page. A smart retail project of Vivo is being utilised to link offline retail partners with customers in their location who are looking at buying a new phone.

As per techARC, O2O models are capable of contributing between 5% and 7% of the overall sales in the following months, since many customers would be apprehensive about visiting stores due to the threat of coronavirus.  

In comparison to large and niche firms, smaller firms are more likely to be impacted by the crisis. In the future, smartphone companies will need to expand into other categories to utilise consumer interest in products that would keep them safe and productive while working from home.

Recently, Xiaomi mentioned that the company would be introducing its laptops in India. This seems inspired by the increasing interest in laptops, given that more number of people are working from home now. Various laptop vendors have registered a substantial increase in sales, while the rise in demand during the lockdown has also been a factor. 

The report said that the worst phase for the Indian smartphone industry is now over with the re-opening of factories and the completion of sales.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at bhavana.pn@cleartax.in

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