Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi, however, led the market in the October-December quarter with 27% market share.
“The significant decline in smartphone shipments in the first half of 2020 encouraged the brands to come back strongly in the second half of 2020. As the economy gradually opened up and consumer demand spiked. All of this fuelled the smartphone industry growth, with smartphone shipments exceeding 100 million for the first time in the second half of 2020,” CMR mobile handset review report for the fourth quarter said.
CMR projects that the smartphone market this year is expected to grow by 10% and shipments of 5G enabled smartphones will grow by 10 fold to 30 million.
“In 2020, 5G shipments continued to gain strength and we anticipate this momentum to continue in 2021. OnePlus was the highest contributor in the 5G smartphone segment capturing 58% market share followed by Apple at 20%,” the report said.
CMR said that Apple continued its growth story and was placed sixth on the top ten smartphone leaderboard.
“Apple led the smartphone market accounting for 90% of all the eSIM-enabled smartphones in the calendar year 2020. Apple’s remarkable growth in 2020 will continue in the year ahead, on the back of its online store, offline retail forays, and aggressive marketing launches,” the report noted.
According to the report, Samsung followed Xiaomi with 20% market share in the fourth quarter of 2020 and record a 35% increase in year-on-year shipments.
Market share of Vivo, Realme and Oppo stood at 14, 11 and 10%, respectively.
Shipment of Vivo smartphones declined by 25%, while Realme and Oppo shipment increased by 50% and 14%, respectively.
“For the Indian smartphone industry, the year 2020 was a remarkable story marked by response, recovery and resilience in the face of the persistent pandemic.
“As a consequence of the supply chain and geopolitical challenges, the year saw a gradual realignment of smartphone supply chains. Enterprises seeking to de-risk themselves from China looked at emerging alternatives, including India,” CMR analyst-industry intelligence group Anand Priya Singh said in the report.
Itel mobile-led feature phone segment with a 20% market share in the quarter ended December 2020, despite a 2% decline in shipment volume on a year-on-year basis.
“Micromax re-entered the smartphone market. It grew 75% YoY and is expected to increase its market share along with Lava in the smartphone market in 2021,” according to the report.
Transsion Group brands (Itel, Infinix and Tecno) combined feature phone and smartphone shipments grew 32% on a year-on-year basis.
“In 2021 and beyond, as India’s nascent digital economy takes off, the smartphone industry would gain strength, driven by feature phone users transiting to entry-level smartphones, and new, powerful offerings across price tiers, including 5G-capable smartphone offerings at mid to lower price tiers, including in the below Rs 20,000 price band,” Singh said.