Smartphone shipments in India grew by a significant 25 percent year-on-year (YoY) for the October-December period (Q4) in 2023, as per a new report by market research firm Counterpoint. Xiaomi climbed to the top position in the quarter with 18 percent of the market share, a first since Q3 2022. The feat was achieved on the back of the company’s foray into the affordable 5G segment with its Redmi 13C. Vivo retained its second spot, followed by Samsung which slipped to third after leading the market for four consecutive quarters. Chinese smartphone brands Realme and Oppo grabbed the fourth and fifth spot, respectively.
In its report, Counterpoint highlighted the 61 percent contribution of 5G smartphones as one of the major factors behind the growth in the quarter. Notably, 5G phones in the affordable Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 15,000 price band contributed 24 percent of the total smartphone shipments. The premium smartphone segment also witnessed a 51 percent growth. Apple led the segment with a 17 percent market share, as a result of the iPhone 15 series launch.
Coming to brand-wise comparison in the top five positions, Xiaomi appeared as the market leader taking 18 percent of the market share. Vivo remained in the second position for a remarkable fourth quarter in a row, capturing 17 percent of the smartphone market. In the third spot, Samsung was only able to grab 16.8 percent of the share, after a strong Q3 showing where it dominated the market. Realme featured at the fourth position, taking 11 percent of the market share. The report also highlighted that the company was the fastest-growing brand with a 69 percent YoY growth. With a 10 percent hold of the market, Oppo retained the fifth spot.
However, despite a good quarter, the wider landscape for smartphone shipments in India in 2023 remained flat at 152 million units, a separate Counterpoint report highlighted. The market research firm noted challenges emerging from macroeconomic turbulence resulting in low demand and an inventory build-up in the first half of 2023 as the reason for the lack of growth. “The market started recovering in the second half of the year supported by 5G upgrades and better-than-expected festive sales,” the report added.
Samsung held the top position in 2023 after taking 18 percent of the market due to strong showing in the first three quarters. This is the first time the South Korean tech conglomerate led a calendar year since 2017. Notably, the company launched the Samsung Galaxy S23 series along with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in 2023. Showing a stable performance, Vivo retained the second spot with a 17 percent share. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi, Realme, and Oppo occupied the next three spots with 16.5 percent, 12 percent, and 10.5 percent of the market share, respectively.
While Apple did not feature in the top five positions in shipments, it surpassed the ten million mark in revenue for the first time in a calendar year, leading the category.