The Q2 2020 was probably one of the worst quarters for smartphone makers in years. As the COVID-19 outbreak started, the Indian government imposed a strict lockdown starting March 25. As a result, smartphone production and sales came to a standstill. April was the worst month with all smartphone brands registering zero sales. According to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, India’s smartphone shipments declined 51% YoY to just over 18 million units in Q2 2020. Though, as lockdown restrictions started to ease, pent-up demand pushed the India smartphone user base to half a billion.
There were a few surprises too. Despite negative consumer sentiments towards Chinese brands and supply constraints, Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market. Samsung was the second-largest smartphone maker and was able to recover faster, to nearly pre-COVID levels. OnePlus regained the top position in the premium smartphone segment with the new OnePlus 8 launch, whereas Apple remained the leading smartphone brand in the ultra-premium segment.
In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by research analyst Shilpi Jain to talk about how the India smartphone market performed in Q2 2020. The discussion touches upon various topics from the supply and demand side, effects of India-China border clash on consumer sentiments, and more.
Xiaomi aims to continue its leadership in $100 smartphone segment with the Redmi 8A Dual.
The Redmi 8A Dual price in India starts at Rs 6,499 (>$92).
Redmi also introduced two powerbanks starting at Rs 799 (>$12)
India has surpassed the USA to become the second largest smartphone market across the globe, with shipments reaching 158 million in 2019. Of this, the entry-level and budget segment (> $130) is one of the most active and lucrative segments as it attracts the first-time smartphone buyers. In fact, the (>$100) segment has an overall market share of 20%, with online contribution accounting for 39%.
Brand wise, Xiaomi has 44% market share in the segment with popular devices like the Redmi 8A, Redmi 7A, and Redmi Go to name a few. To kick-start 2020, Xiaomi has launched the Redmi 8A Dual in India today. The new smartphone brings incremental upgrades over the Redmi 8A that was launched last year. Prominent changes include dual rear cameras, new design (Aura XGrip) for better grip, and more.
Redmi 8A Dual: New features
The highlight of the new Redmi 8A Dual is the dual camera setup at the back. You get a 13MP primary camera sensor (f/2.2 aperture) coupled with a dedicated 2MP depth sensor for portrait mode. The front camera for selfies, video calling and face unlock is still the same 8MP unit (f/2.0 aperture).
The Redmi 8A packs a powerful 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging via USB Type-C port. However, the box comes with a 10W standard charger. The new addition in the Redmi 8A is the reverse charging feature which lets you use the smartphone as a powerbank to charge other devices.
Lastly, Xiaomi has also focussed on the design aspect of the smartphone. The back comes with mesh texture which offers a better grip when holding the phone. This also makes it smudge-free.
Specifications and pricing
The Redmi 8A Dual gets a 6.22-inch HD+ display. The smartphone is powered by a 12nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 octa-core chipset paired with 2GB/3GB RAM and 32GB storage. A dedicated microSD card slot with support for up to 512GB is also present. The smartphone supports dual SIM card slots, dual 4G VoLTE, and comes with VoWiFi feature out-of-the-box. It enables users to make and receive calls using the Wi-Fi.
In terms of pricing, the 2GB RAM with 32GB storage model is available for Rs 6,499 (>$92), whereas the higher model with 3GB RAM will cost Rs 6,999 (>$100). It goes in sale via Amazon India and Mi.com starting February 18, and will be available via offline channels too.
Along with the smartphone, Xiaomi also introduced Redmi-branded powerbanks in India. Both powerbanks come with anti-slip edge grip design. The powerbanks are offered in 10,000mAh capacity Rs 799 (>$12), and 20,000mAh capacity for Rs 1,499 (>$21). These will go on sale along with the Redmi 8A.
The highlight of these powerbanks is dual input for charging – microUSB and USB Type-C. The powerbank also comes with two USB output ports. There is a custom power button that lets you customize the voltage for charging small devices such as Bluetooth Headphones, smartwatches and fitness bands. In terms of charging speeds, the 10,000mAh one supports 10W fast charge, whereas the 20,000mAh one supports 18W fast charging.
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