INDIA: When the pandemic forced people to stay indoors, smartphones became their window to the world, helping them stay connected with friends, Work From Home (WFH) and even learn new recipes.
And 2021 promises to bring back double-digit growth for the smartphone industry as people embrace hybrid work models, binge on web series and continue the pursuit for the perfect selfie on their six-inch screens, report agencies.This year has been challenging for the industry right from the beginning as supply chains for components were disrupted amid rising Covid-19 cases in China. Given the heavy reliance of Indian phone and electronics industry on imports from the neighbouring nation, there were apprehensions that stocks would run out, hitting local assembly.
By March, there were bigger worries. Rising number of coronavirus cases in India forced the government to impose a nationwide lockdown that barred movement of everything but essential items like food and medicine.
However, after the lockdown was eased, the industry saw a never-seen-before level of demand. Shipment in September quarter is estimated to have touched an all-time high of over 50 million units. Pent up demand, coupled with people rushing in to buy devices to ensure continuity of work and studies, saw tech brands literally struggling to keep up.
Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst Prachir Singh said that despite losing almost one-and-a-half months to lockdown, there is just a six per cent year-on-year fall in shipment at 148 million units in 2020, reflecting the “resilient nature” of the Indian smartphone market.
“In 2021, the Indian smartphone market is estimated to grow at 20 per cent y-o-y. Major reasons for such a high growth will be increased consumer spending as economic activities grow, and aggressive product strategies from top brands,” he said, adding that Jio’s anticipated launch of low-cost 4G smartphone with Google could add further momentum.