India's smartphone market has registered its highest-ever shipments at 169 million units in 2021 to register 11 percent year-on-year growth from about 152 million units in 2020.
The market showed high resilience in a year that witnessed a second and more virulent Covid-19 wave as well as supply disruptions and price increases due to the ongoing component shortages, according to a report by Counterpoint Research.
Also, the increased adoption and demand for 5G smartphones was one of the key factors for high shipments in 2021, the report added. And, 5G smartphones contributed to about 17 percent of the overall shipments in 2021, registering 6x growth compared to 2020.
"Intense competition among OEMs, availability of cheaper 5G chipsets, and declining prices of 5G devices will enable brands to push more 5G devices into the market. The price of entry-level 5G devices has come down by 40 percent in the last six months. The increase in affordability of 5G devices has been a key reason for high 5G smartphone adoption," the report stated.
Consumer demand remained high in the premium price tiers (above Rs 30,000) in 2021 with shipments in these price bands growing 98 percent y-o-y.
The under-Rs 10,000 category -- which accounted for 30 percent market share, declined 5 percent, while Rs 10,000-20,000 segment (47 percent share) grew 8 percent. The Rs 20,000-30,000 tier (13 percent) grew 95 percent.
The retail ASP (average selling price) also showed high growth, increasing by over 13 percent y-o-y, the report added.
"High installed base, as well as high replacement demand coupled with the increasing affordability of premium devices, led to the high growth of the premium segment. Going forward, we expect the market to continue to grow by double digits with a healthy contribution of the mid-to-high-end 5G smartphones. India's smartphone market continues to offer big opportunities for multiple players to grow and co-exist," the report said.