Smartphone market moving towards a steady growth and recovery stage: GfK

GfK, a global leader in market and consumer intelligence for technical consumer goods, shares key trends determining the growth of the Indian smartphone market. GfK market intelligence reveals overall growth in smartphone sales, price segments along with geographical market penetration from January 2021 to October 2021 for the market.

According to GfK market intelligence, overall category sales in terms of units for offline retail (point-of-sales) grew by 4% whereas online retail sales grew by 29% during YTD Oct 2021 compared to 2020. During the same period, online channel contribution for the smartphone market accounted for 40% in terms of sales units and 41% in terms of sales value vs 35% in 2020.  This reflects the rising consumer trust and digitalization of purchase journeys fueling the online retail contribution to overall category sales of smartphones.

Looking at the price trends, GfK Market Intelligence point-of-sales data outlined an increase of sales units by 56% for premium smartphones ranging between 30k – 40k. Sales also went up for smartphones priced above 40k by 41%, which underlines the increasing demand for premium products in the Indian smartphone market.

Kartik Vasudevan, Director – Sales,  GfK India, “As markets have moved from “want” to “need” norm, it is not only about the product/ device but consumer ‘Lifestyle’. Consumers turned to tech to continue working and learning while staying at home and this has triggered some structural shift in buying behavior. As @home norm continues, consumers are keen to invest in products which promise quality and longevity.”

GfK insights also reveal the geographical penetration of the smartphone market. The overall sales for smartphones in tier 5 & above representing <50k population registered 11% volume growth in offline retail during YTD Oct 2021/ 2020, followed by a 7% increase in tier 3 cities.

Kartik also added, ‘smartphone market is still dominated by less than 15k price segment, however, there has been an increase in sales of premium products as mobile phones have essentially become first digital touchpoint or device to access the internet. For some consumers, it is their first computer in a way and with 5G paving its way, this trend might accelerate the price push further.’

There is cautious optimism in the market which will be governed by the interplay of domestic manufacturing, imports, transportation cost, and raw material prices.

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