According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, India’s smartphone shipments grew 11 per cent on year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis to reach 169 million units in 2021. However, the shipments declined 8 per cent Y-o-Y in the December quarter due to supply issues plaguing the smartphone manufacturing ecosystem.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Prachir Singh, senior research analyst, Counterpoint, said, “The Indian smartphone market witnessed high consumer demand in 2021, making it the best-performing year. This feat came in a year that witnessed supply constraints due to a multitude of reasons – a second and more virulent COVID-19 wave, global component shortages and price hikes due to these shortages. The high replacement demand fuelled by increasing smartphone affordability in the mid and high-price tiers due to promotions and discounts, as well as better financing options, led to an 11 per cent Y-o-Y growth in 2021. The demand outstripped the supply in the last two quarters of 2021. During Q4 2021, the smartphone market declined 8 per cent Y-o-Y. We expect the supply situation to get better going forward and reach normalcy by the end of Q1 2022.”

Meanwhile, Shilpi Jain, research analyst, said, “India’s smartphone market retail average selling price (ASP) grew 14 per cent Y-o-Y in 2021 to reach its highest ever at $227. The price hikes in the budget segment due to component price rise, increasing focus of OEMs on the premium segment, and increased demand for mid-range and premium smartphones due to increasing uses and availability of financing options contributed to the increasing ASP. This resulted in the Indian smartphone market revenue crossing $38 billion in 2021, registering a growth of 27 per cent Y-o-Y.”

Also, on the developing manufacturing ecosystem, Jain added, “Local manufacturing bounced back, contributing 98 per cent shipments in 2021, compared to 90 per cent in 2020. The PLI scheme has been a great booster for the Indian mobile manufacturing ecosystem, attracting top players like Apple and Samsung to increase their ‘Make in India’ footprint and make India their export hub. Therefore, handset exports saw 26 per cent Y-o-Y growth in 2021. Seeing the PLI scheme’s success in the mobile manufacturing ecosystem, the government has launched similar schemes for different product vertical like CIOT and IT hardware.”

India’s overall mobile handset market grew 7 per cent Y-o-Y in 2021. Samsung captured the top position in the handset market in 2021, taking 17 per cent share. Feature phone shipments reached 86 million units to show flat growth in 2021. itel led the feature phone market, taking 24 per cent share followed by Lava, Samsung and Jio. itel has been leading the feature phone market for the last two consecutive years.