India smartphone shipments tumbled sharply in Q2 as vendors faced the double blow of low supplies due to factory closures and weak demand because of on and offline retail closures, including a ban on sales, Canalys reported.

Shipments dropped 48 per cent year-on-year to 17.3 million units, with the country in Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown until mid-May.

The company noted with local production halted early in the quarter, vendors including Xiaomi and Oppo imported smartphones to meet demand.

Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary said: “While vendors witnessed a crest in sales as soon as markets opened, production facilities struggled with staffing shortages on top of new regulations around manufacturing, resulting in lower production output.”

Rising tension between India and China over a border dispute also contributed to Chinese vendors’ woes late in the quarter.

Adwait Mardikar, research analyst, noted “there has been public anger directed towards China”, which combined with an Indian government self-sufficiency drive “pushed Chinese smartphone vendors into the eye of the public storm”.

Canalys estimated more than 96 per cent of all smartphones sold in India in 2019 were manufactured or assembled locally.

Gaining share
Xiaomi, the market leader with a 30.9 per cent share, recorded a 48 per cent drop in shipments to 5.3 million units, while number two Vivo shipped 36 per cent fewer units at 3.7 million, though grew market share from 17.5 per cent in Q2 2019 to 21.3 per cent.

Samsung’s share fell by 5.3 percentage points to 16.8 per cent, with shipments down 60 per cent to 2.9 million units. Oppo’s share rose from 9.2 per cent to 12.9 per cent, but shipments slipped 27 per cent to 2.2 million.

Realme’s shipments fell 35 per cent to 1.7 million units.