Customers in India Spend Average INR 2,400 ($32) on Servicing of Out-of-Warranty Smartphones

 New Delhi, San Diego, Buenos Aires, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – December 1, 2020

Customer service has become a key factor in finalizing a smartphone purchase. One in every four smartphone owners in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Noida and Ahmedabad visits a service center within six months of purchase, according to the latest ‘Smartphone After-sales Service Study’ by Counterpoint Research. Problems related to charging, software (or ‘hanging’) and display were the most common faced by the survey respondents. When it came to out-of-warranty smartphones, customers spent an average amount of INR 2,400 ($32) on servicing of such phones.

Senior Analyst Pavel Naiya said, “After-sales service has become a key factor influencing the purchase decision for a new smartphone. It also helps build long-term customer loyalty. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many after-sales service processes have been affected in India and abroad. Under these circumstances, leading brands have taken initiatives to digitize the service delivery process, reduce wait times and maintain contactless delivery. As a result, two-thirds of the respondents received their smartphones within a day while about half of the respondents said that the parts required for the service were available at the service center. In case of parts brought from outside, more than eight out of ten respondents said these were received within three days.”

Some key findings of the survey are given below:

  • Overall, more than eight out of ten respondents are satisfied with the after-sales service experience. OPPO was the No. 1 brand in customer satisfaction for after-sales service with 93% of the respondents rating their experience “very good” or “excellent”, followed by vivo (85%), Xiaomi (81%) and Samsung (81%).
  • OPPO was the fastest in after-sales service turnaround (waiting and turnaround). OPPO and realme have a close competition when it comes to turnaround time. 73% and 72% of the respondents received their device on the same day from OPPO and realme respectively. vivo captured the third spot with 68%.
  • Waiting time to attend was lowest for OPPO customers. About half of the respondents were attended within 15 minutes of arrival at the OPPO service center. realme, Samsung and Xiaomi closely followed OPPO on this parameter. OPPO maintained its spare parts better than its competitors. Also, almost all the respondents among OPPO users received their device after full resolution of the current issue.
  • Xiaomi was rated highest on “explanation of the problem” as well as solution. It was slightly ahead in “knowledge and soft skills” of the customer support executives compared to other leading brands.

Exhibit I: Customer Rating of Overall Service Experience

Customer Rating of Overall Service ExperienceSource: Counterpoint Research Smartphone After-sales Service Study

The first visit after purchase is an indication of user awareness of software functionality and product quality. In many cases, users visit the service center to learn how to enable or disable some software functions.

  • Xiaomi did well on this parameter with a larger online community to resolve many software issues on the go, thus delaying a physical visit to the service center. Xiaomi is followed by vivo and OPPO here.
  • Nine out of ten respondents got their smartphones serviced within two visits. OPPO and Xiaomi users reported the least number of instances of having visited a service center earlier with the same problem.

Other than effective service delivery, maintaining hygiene and social distancing were mandatory for the safety of employees as well as visitors. Research Associate Arushi Chawla said, “Importance of smartphone has increased in during the pandemic. It thus becomes crucial for the after-sales service to have enough resilience to provide services during these trying times. This has led after-sales outlets of all leading smartphone brands to maintain hygiene and social distancing for the safety of their employees as well as visitors. Almost all service center representatives were found to be using masks by the survey respondents. Samsung maintained contactless submission and collection of smartphones better than others. Usage of hand gloves and face shields was more common at the vivo service centers, followed by Samsung.”

Exhibit II: Protective Gear Used by Service Center Representative

Protective Gear Used by Service Center RepresentativeSource: Counterpoint Research Smartphone After-sales Service Study


This is a sponsored survey to help a brand measure its service center and after-sales support effectiveness. Counterpoint Research conducted this study across Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Noida and Ahmedabad with a sample size of ~1,000 respondents who had completed after-sales service by visiting exclusive/authorized service centers. The sample was equally distributed among top five smartphone brands. We expect the results to have a statistical precision of +/- 4%.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in detailed industry analysis of the TMT sectors. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of over 15 years in high-tech industries.

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Analyst Contacts:

Pavel Naiya

Arushi Chawla