Counterpoint today released the final report highlighting the Indian smartphone market trends for the year 2020 and Q4 2020. In the report, Counterpoint highlighted that the pandemic did not hurt the smartphone markets as the overall shipments declined by a modest 4% YoY to reach over 150 million units in 2020. The first half of 2020 is all about the COVID-19 and the lockdown, which is the reason why smartphone shipments crossed 100 million units in the second half of 2020 for the first time ever. Chinese brand Xiaomi led the market with a 26% share in 2020, followed by Samsung at 21%. Vivo, Realme and Oppo complete the top five chart with 16%, 13% and 10% share, respectively. In Q4 2020, Apple shipped a decent 1.5 million units thanks to the festive sales and affordable prices on iPhone SE 2020, iPhone XR and the iPhone 11.
Indian Smartphone Market Grew 19% YoY in Q4 2020
The report further highlighted that the Indian smartphone market grew 19% YoY in Q4 2020 due to the Diwali falling on November 14. Xiaomi lost its top spot to Samsung in Q3 2020, however, the company reclaimed the top spot in Q4 2020 with 13% YoY growth. During the last quarter of 2020, Xiaomi launched multiple phones under the Redmi 9 and Redmi Note 9 series which helped the brand recapture the top spot. Counterpoint expects that Xiaomi will continue to focus on the mid as well as premium segments in 2021. Xiaomi spin-off Poco shipped five million units in Q4 2020 driven by the aggressively priced Poco M2, M2 Pro and Poco C3 smartphones.
Samsung reached the top spot of the Indian smartphone market in Q3 2020, however, it wasn’t able to keep up the position for long. The South Korean smartphone company slipped to the second position in Q4 2020, despite exhibiting 30% YoY growth. Samsung went aggressive on online channels in 2020 with multiple launches under the Galaxy M, Galaxy A and the brand new Galaxy F series. The brand grew 1.5x YoY in CY 2020 on online channel shipments, said Counterpoint.
Vivo remained the top offline player in 2020 with 13% YoY shipments decline because of the pandemic. Among the top five brands, Realme grew the highest at 22% YoY in 2020. It crossed the 20 million units mark for the first time, thanks to the demand on online channels and some impressive smartphone launches from the brand. Oppo shipments in India grew 11% YoY in 2020 while remaining flat in Q4 2020. Oppo launched the Oppo A12 and Oppo A53 smartphones in Q4 2020 which saw decent demand.
Transsion Group brands- itel Mobiles, Infinix Mobiles and Tecno Mobiles registered the highest-ever shipments in a single quarter at over nine million units. The three brands remained strong in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities and rural India. Some of the best-selling models from the brands include Tecno Spark 6 Air, itel Vision 1 and Infinix Smart 4 Plus. itel remained the top feature phone brand in the quarter and became the top feature phone brand in 2020 for the first time.
Lastly, we have Apple which captured the sixth spot in the Indian smartphone market in Q4 2020 with 171% YoY growth in the quarter and 93% YoY growth in 2020. The launch of the iPhone 12, aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion helped Apple gain market share. For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter in Q4 2020. Premium smartphone brand OnePlus experienced 200% YoY growth in Q4 2020 largely driven by the mid-range Nord smartphone and the newly launched OnePlus 8T series. It re-entered the mid-range segment with the OnePlus Nord priced at Rs 24,999, making it possible to cross 3 million shipments in a year for the first time.
5G smartphone shipments in India crossed four million in the whole of 2020.