The Indian phone market has shown resilience amid the pandemic and has been among the top-performing markets for HMD Global that sells the Nokia brand of mobile phones, a top company executive said. Speaking to PTI, HMD Global Vice President Sanmeet Singh Kochhar said the past two years have been filled with challenges but the market has shown resilience, and phone sales picked up after the lockdowns were lifted.
“…there was a lot of buoyancy in the market in the second half of 2020. This year again, unfortunately, we had to face the second wave… starting June, we have started to see business come back on track and we see a lot of buoyancy – both in terms of feature phones as well as a smartphone,” he said. Kochhar added that the company is “very upbeat” as it moves closer to the festive season and is lining up products.
India’s smartphone market is set to hit a record high of 173 million units in 2021, growing at 14 per cent year-on-year. More than 100 million smartphones are expected to be shipped in the second half of the year, according to Counterpoint Research. India’s smartphone market is the second biggest market in the world after China. In 2020, the Indian market outperformed the North America, Latin America, and Africa markets.
COVID-19 saw smartphone shipment in India experiencing a minor dip of 4 per cent in 2020 to 152 million units (from 158 million units in 2019), showcasing its resilience as well as the emergence of smartphones in a more important role to cater to the pandemic-triggered need for digital communication and newer use cases. “… I would definitely say in 2020 as well as 2021… India has been one of the top-performing markets for us,” Kochhar said.
The executive said there were certain notable trends in terms of features that were seen in the past few quarters. Kochhar said requirements around work and study from home as well as entertainment consumption drove demand for smartphones with larger screen sizes, bigger batteries, and enhanced security options.