The smartphone market in India saw a 16 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline, with 31 million smartphones being shipped to the region. This is the lowest first-quarter shipment in four years, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker preliminary data. 

Consumer demand remained sluggish amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions and inventory levels were elevated because of high stocking in H2 2022, said the report. The ASP (average selling price) reached an all-time high of $265 and the share of higher-priced smartphones (above $600) increased to 11 per cent compared to 4 per cent a year ago. 5G smartphone share increased to 45 per cent, up from 31 per cent in Q1 2022, led by Samsung which accounted for more than a quarter of the 5G smartphone shipments.

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“5G smartphones continue to increase penetration in the low-end price segment and we should expect a strong 5G play in the $150-$300 segment in H2 2023 as high-end 4G models vacate the space,” said Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

Shipments to online channels dropped significantly, as offline channels were backed by new model launches and attractive channel promotions in Q1 2023. After more than five years, Samsung climbed to the top slot, supported by the launch of affordable 5G smartphones and the Galaxy S23 series, followed by Vivo which continued to build on its omnichannel portfolio and OPPO (including OnePlus), while Xiaomi slipped to fourth slot in Q1 2023.

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India’s smartphone market is expected to see flat growth in 2023.

“The second half of the year can bring some growth if brands bring attractive festive offerings across the channels to drive affordability. This can be facilitated by consumer optimism on the back of Cricket World Cup (hosted by India), a few key State elections, followed by elections in 2024,” said Navkendar Singh, Associate Vice President – Devices Research, IDC.