Podcast: COVID-19 Second Wave to Test Resilience of India’s Growing Smartphone Market

As India battles a more virulent second wave of COVID-19, lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed across several states. This has impacted several businesses and industries, including the country’s smartphone market, which had registered record growth in Q1 2021 due to pent-up demand. With the restrictions on, the smartphone growth story has not continued in Q2 2021 as smartphones are not considered an essential category.

The number of COVID-19 cases has come down from its peak in the last two weeks of May, bringing some respite. But how much of an impact has the second wave created on India’s smartphone sales and manufacturing? There is also a looming uncertainty around a possible third wave in the next few months that could lead to another demand and supply disruption.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Research Director Tarun Pathak and Senior Analyst Prachir Singh. They discuss the current scenario in the Indian smartphone market, the global chip shortage, and how manufacturing capacity and inventory have been affected. The imbalance also raises questions about the forecast and outlook for 2021, where Prachir and Tarun have covered different scenarios and use cases that could guide the market this year.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

  • 2:23 – How India’s smartphone market performed in 2020, and how it progressed into 2021?
  • 6:19 – How are the COVID-19 second wave and lockdown-like restrictions impacting smartphone sales in India?
  • 8:22 – What impact does the second wave have on India’s smartphone production capacity?
  • 10:55 – What is happening on the inventory side with a demand reduction?
  • 12:16 – There is a looming possibility of a third wave in the coming months, so what kind of impact could that have?
  • 14:53 – Is the reduced smartphone demand helping ease pressure on smartphone chipmakers and component players?
  • 18:13 – Is COVID-19 impact further lengthening the smartphone replacement cycle?
  • 24:47 – Where does our forecast for the Indian smartphone market stand currently?

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