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India 5G Smartphone Shipments to Cross 4G Shipments in 2023

  • Cumulative 5G smartphone shipments will cross the 100-million mark in Q2 2023 and exceed 4G smartphone shipments by the end of 2023.
  • India’s 5G smartphone shipments are estimated to grow 81% YoY in 2022 driven by their expanding presence in lower price bands (<INR 20,000 or ~$244) and rollout of 5G networks.
  • 5G share in lower price bands (<INR 20,000 or ~$244) is gradually increasing, from 4% in 2021 to 14% in 2022.

India’s smartphone shipments are projected to witness a yearly decline in 2022 due to macroeconomic factors affecting consumer demand in the entry and budget segments. However, 5G has been a driving force and will continue to push smartphone demand in 2023 as well. India’s 5G smartphone shipments are estimated to grow 81% YoY in 2022 driven by their expanding presence in lower price bands (<INR 20,000 or ~$244) and rollout of 5G networks in the latter half of the year.

According to Counterpoint’s India Market Outlook, cumulative 5G smartphone shipments will cross the 100-million mark in Q2 2023 and exceed 4G smartphone shipments by the end of 2023. Our latest consumer study also reveals that 5G is the third most important factor for future smartphone purchases.

               India 5G vs 4G Smartphone Shipment Penetration

 Source: Counterpoint Research India Smartphone Outlook, November 2022

5G share in lower price bands (<INR 20,000 or ~$244) is gradually increasing, from 4% in 2021 to 14% in 2022. It is expected to reach 30% in 2023. The cost of an entry-level 5G smartphone came down to below INR 10,000 (~$122) in 2022 with the launch of the Lava Blaze 5G. The availability of cheaper 5G chipsets from Qualcomm and MediaTek has enabled OEMs to launch more 5G devices in the lower price segment, while the commercial rollout of 5G services has also driven demand for the same.

Source: Counterpoint Research India Smartphone Outlook, November 2022

However, the growth here has been limited due to component supply shortages, inflation, geopolitical conflicts and other macroeconomic issues, which have delayed 5G device launches in the budget segment. Though OEMs have brought more 5G devices for lower price bands (<INR 20,000 or ~$244), they have done so by dropping or downgrading other key features like display or fast charging to lessen the impact of increasing component costs. This, in turn, has affected the consumer demand for 5G within this price tier. The limited availability of 5G networks has also affected the demand.

We expect these constraints to ease by the end of 2023, leading to the mass adoption of 5G. Better availability of networks in major areas will also facilitate 5G smartphone growth in 2023, which is estimated to be 62% YoY.

Shilpi Jain

Shilpi is an Analyst with Counterpoint Technology Market Research, based out of Gurgaon. She has more than 5 years of work experience in consulting and market research field. She led various research and consulting projects for multiple sectors including Telecom. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Fore School of Management, specializing in Finance; and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University

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