India’s smartphone shipments in the premium segment (over Rs 30,000) declined 32 percent year-on-year to over one million in June 2020 quarter on account of disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Counterpoint Research.
The report said the nationwide lockdown of almost 40 days led to almost zero shipments in April that contributed to the decline.
“Still, it was one of the least affected segments and reached its highest ever share in the overall India smartphone market, contributing more than four percent in total smartphone shipments,” it added.
New launches like the OnePlus 8 series 5G in premium segment and re-entry of Apple in affordable premium segment kept the momentum alive in the market, it said.
Also, the quarter also saw more vendors focussing on the ultra-premium segment for better profitability and to increase the brands’ mind share in the India market, it added.
The report said 5G has become standard in the ultra-premium segment, and Samsung and Apple are expected to launch their 5G devices soon.
OnePlus regained its top position in the India premium smartphone market with 29 percent share in the said quarter, just nudging out Samsung.
Apple fell to the third spot in the premium shipment share during the quarter due to intensifying competition, the report said.
“India’s premium smartphone market is shaping up as OEMs are now changing their strategies to target consumers in all price tiers. Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo entered the ultra-premium segment…The segment no longer remains an oligopoly of Samsung, Apple and OnePlus,” it added.
It cited the example of Vivo V19 that gained the second spot in the premium segment within the initial quarter of launch.
India’s smartphone demand is slowly reaching “pre-COVID levels” despite a drop in overall shipments in the June quarter. India now has half a billion smartphone users, a feat achieved in the lockdown.
Despite a washout in April, and low demand in May, the domestic smartphone market climbed back to “pre-COVID levels” in June, according to Counterpoint Research.