Q2 2021: India Smartphone Market Stays Resilient During Second COVID-19 Wave, Crosses 33 Million Shipments

  • India’s smartphone market registered its highest ever shipments in H1 2021.
  • Xiaomi led the market in Q2 2021 with a 28% shipment share. The brand registered its highest-ever ASP (average selling price) in a single quarter due to the strong performance of the Mi 11 series.
  • Samsung captured the second spot with an 18% share while vivo captured the third spot with a 15% share.
  • realme became the fastest brand to reach 50 million cumulative smartphone shipments in India.
  • OnePlus led the premium market (>INR 30,000) with a 34% share.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – July 28, 2021

India’s smartphone shipments grew 82% YoY to reach over 33 million units in Q2 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. However, the market declined 14% sequentially due to a fall in consumer sentiment during the second COVID-19 wave. But the decline was less than expected due to the resilient nature of the smartphone market.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh said, “Smartphone shipments witnessed low volumes during April and May. However, the market saw a pent-up demand in June as restrictions were lifted and stores started to reopen. Offline-centric brands were more affected during April and May as consumers were preferring online channels for purchases. Brands like Xiaomi and realme were able to maintain high volumes leveraging their better online reach. Due to the multiple use-cases and functionalities, the smartphone has become an integral part of daily life and a necessity. The pent-up demand witnessed in June is a testament to that.”

Commenting on the competitive landscape and brand strategies, Research Analyst Monika Sharma said, “Chinese brands held a 79% share. Xiaomi (includes POCO) led the market with a 28% share, followed by Samsung, vivo, realme and OPPO. The Redmi 9 series, as well as the Redmi Note 10 series, drove the shipments for Xiaomi while online-heavy Galaxy M-series and F-series drove the shipments for Samsung. The share of 5G smartphones is constantly increasing, crossing 14% in the June-ended quarter. realme was the top 5G smartphone brand with a 23% share, followed by OnePlus. OnePlus led the premium smartphone market (>INR 30,000) with a 34% share, driven by the newly launched OnePlus 9 series. To expand and serve their consumer base, many brands started home delivery of smartphones during lockdowns via digital platforms like WhatsApp.”

India Smartphone Market Q2 2021

Note: Xiaomi includes POCO brand

India’s mobile handset (feature phone + smartphone) market grew 74% YoY in Q2 2021 but declined 28% QoQ. The feature phone market declined 50% QoQ with the second COVID-19 wave reducing the disposable income of its consumers, who mainly reside in Tier 3 and 4 towns, and rural areas. itel led the feature phone market with a 24% share, followed by Jio, Lava and Samsung. This is the seventh consecutive quarter where itel led the feature phone market.

India Handset Market Q2 2021

Note: Xiaomi includes POCO brand

Market Summary:

  • Xiaomi (includes POCO) retained the top position in the Indian smartphone market with a 28% share driven by the Redmi 9 series and Redmi Note 10 series. Xiaomi captured the top four positions in the Top 5 models list with the Redmi 9A, Redmi 9 Power, Redmi Note 10 and Redmi 9, out of which the top three models clocked more than a million shipments. The Redmi 9A has been the best-selling model for the last three quarters. Xiaomi re-entered the ultra-premium segment with the Mi 11 Ultra powered by Snapdragon 888 chipset. In the premium segment, Xiaomi shipped its highest-ever volumes in Q2 2021, capturing more than 7% of the segment. POCOXiaomi’s sub-brand, registered 480% YoY growth driven by its strong demand in the budget segment. The POCO M3, C3 and X3 Pro were the top models for POCO in Q2 2021. 
  • Samsung remains the second-largest brand in India’s smartphone shipments, registering 25% YoY growth. It remained aggressive in online channels during the quarter. Its online-centric Galaxy M-series and F-series contributed to 66% shipments of the brand in Q2 2021. Samsung reached its highest-ever online share, an indication that the brand’s online channel strategy is working well along with its e-store. Samsung led the upper mid-tier (INR 20,000-INR 30,000) segment driven by the strong performance of the Galaxy A32, A52 and F62.
  • vivo grew 61% YoY and held the third position in Q2 2021. The brand’s share in the premium segment (>INR 30,000) increased to 12%, its highest ever in a single quarter. The newly launched V21 series along with the X60 and IQOO 7 series drove the shipments for the brand. vivo also led the INR 15,000-INR 20,000 price band.
  • realme grew 140% YoY in Q2 2021 and captured the fourth position in the Indian smartphone market. realme is quite aggressive with its 5G push. The brand led the market in 5G smartphone shipments, capturing more than 22% share. It also became the fastest brand to reach 50 million cumulative smartphone shipments in India.
  • OPPO grew 103% YoY and had a 10% market share in Q2 2021. The OPPO F19 Pro Plus was the top 5G smartphone model in the INR 20,000-INR 30,000 price band. OPPO launched an e-store in Q2 2021 to expand its online reach and consumer base. The brand also helped its offline consumer base and channel partners by offering free smartphone deliveries during lockdowns by leveraging digital platforms like WhatsApp.
  • Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and TECNO) registered 296% YoY growth, capturing a 7% share collectively in India’s smartphone market. itel remained the top smartphone brand in the sub-INR 6,000 price band. Also, in the sub-INR 8,000 price band, Transsion brands collectively led the market with a 29% share. itel has been leading the feature phone market for the last seven consecutive quarters.
  • Apple witnessed 144% YoY growth in Q2 2021. The brand maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (>INR 45,000 or ~$650) with more than 49% share. Continued strong demand for the iPhone 11 coupled with aggressive offers on the iPhone 12 series were the driving factors for this growth. 
  • OnePlus grew more than 200% YoY in Q2 2021 driven by the OnePlus 9 Series. The brand led the premium market with a 34% share. OnePlus captured three spots in the top five smartphone models in India’s premium market. It was also the top 5G smartphone brand in the premium segment in Q2 2021, capturing a 48% share.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q2 2021 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Feel free to contact us at press(at) for questions regarding our latest research and insights.

The Market Monitor research relies on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendor’s IR results and vendor polling, triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share globally and for the USChina and India.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Prachir Singh

Monika Sharma

Tarun Pathak

Karn Chauhan

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Related Posts

Xiaomi Surpassed Samsung As The Leading Smartphone Brand in Q4 2017

India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 37% and smartphone shipments grew 12% with feature phones growing an astonishing 55% during 4Q 2017. Despite India’s seasonal peak normally being pre-Diwali shipments in the third quarter, the market set a volume shipment record in the fourth quarter for the first time.

This surprising annual growth can be attributed to higher demand for smartphones and more so for feature phones. The strong growth is also partly due to last year’s weak quarter due to the impact of demonetization. Feature phones have been driven by the disruptive entry of Jiophone, which expanded the feature phone segment. The quarter also saw new device launches and strong promotions from various brands looking to catalyse demand after Diwali

The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the last year, with the rise of brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, VIVO in the smartphone segment and players such as Reliance Jio, Nokia HMD and iTel in the feature phone segment — all able to disrupt the market with high-quality and attractively-priced offerings. During the second half, players such as Xiaomi was particularly disruptive with an aggressively-priced, broad portfolio taken to market with an effective channel expansion strategy. This helped Xiaomi to surpass the long-time market leader, Samsung, for the first time ever. This performance ended Samsung’s six year market dominance.

Exhibit 1: India Smartphone Market Share Q4 2017 and CY 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q4 2017

*Lenovo Includes Motorola

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor CY 2017

Reliance Jio captured a 26% share of the feature phone segment in just one quarter with its compelling value proposition compared to the normal 2G feature phones. We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200 million unit opportunity by volume, over the next five years as the hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets. While Jiophone saw healthy sell-in during 4Q, we believe the operator exited the quarter with some inventory, which could affect its share in coming quarters.

Exhibit 2: India Featurephone Market Share Q4 2017 and CY 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q4 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor CY 2017

Market Summary:

  • India mobile handset and smartphone market grew by 37% and 12% YoY driven by strong demand from the featurephone and smartphone segment.
  • Chinese brands performance remained strong throughout the year and captured 54% smartphone market share in CY 2017 up from 34% during CY 2016.
  • However, local brands like Micromax and Lava have done well in CY 2017 recovering from their all-time low during demonetization last year. Micromax Bharat and Lava Z series performed well in the sub $100 segment. Micromax Bharat 2 was the best-selling smartphone in the sub $75 segment during CY 2017.
  • Xiaomi (259%), iTel (213%), Huawei (165%), Vivo (115%) and OPPO (104%) were the fastest growing smartphone brands during CY 2017.
  • Affordable mid end segment (₹10,000-₹15,000 or US$150-$230) was the fastest growing segment (+52%)in CY 2017 driven by the strong performance of Xiaomi. The Chinese vendor alone, contributed to almost 37% of the shipments in this segment.
  • Average selling price of the overall smartphone market grew 13% YoY due to increased mix of mid segment phones.
  • Over ten new smartphone brands entered India during CY 2017. Players like Nokia HMD, Comio, Infinix and Tecno did well in their first year of operations in India, by expanding their distribution reach in a short span of time.
  • Premium segment (>₹30,000, US$465) grew 20% YoY during CY 2017 due to the strong performance of OnePlus, Apple & Samsung. OnePlus was the fastest growing brand in the premium segment during CY 2017.
  • Qualcomm was the leader amongst smartphone chipset suppliers. Qualcomm powered smartphones grew a healthy 53% YoY in CY 2017. The demand of its chipsets in the fastest growing (₹10,000-₹15,000) segment drove growth.
  • Online sales and promotions remained strong even after Diwali till the end of December 2017 as some of the brands were clearing their inventory. However, new launches by brands like OnePlus, Nokia HMD, Huawei, Micromax, Xiaomi drove shipments. Over 60 new smartphone models were launched after Diwali alone.
  • CY 2017 saw intense competition in the smartphone segment with over 100 brands competing in the space.

Xiaomi ended CY 2017 in India on a very strong note. Not only the brand grew 259% YoY but also saw three of its models within the top five bestselling smartphone list of CY2017. Samsung had the most number of models in the top 10 selling list of CY2017 leveraging its advantage of a strong presence across all the price bands.

Exhibit 3: India Top Smartphone Models CY 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor CY 2017

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