Indian tech market settles into second year of coronavirus as PC and smartphone sales soar

Lighter lockdowns meant more effective manufacturing and logistics

India PC and smartphones shipments grew significantly in Q2 2021 as the world carried on with COVID, a little less rattled by lockdowns and adapting to work and learn-from-home policies.

According to analyst IDC, India's smartphone market experienced an 86 per cent year-on-year growth as the subcontinent shipped 34 million units between April and June. The climb was due to a growth spurt at the end of the quarter as the early period reflected low numbers while the country dealt with the second wave of COVID.

Compared to the first, this wave was more deadly but had less of an impact on manufacturing and logistics due to lighter lockdowns.

Despite this, a significant percentage of consumers turned to the internet to purchase their kit – 51 per cent of Q2 smartphone purchases in India happened online.

Dovetailing with its recent global figures, which showed the Chinese smartphone vendor had grown its global shipments by a whopping 83 per cent, Xiaomi was the big winner. The firm had the largest smartphone market share in India (29 per cent), an 84 per cent year-on-year unit change for the quarter, and surpassing Samsung which had the second highest shipment volume for the quarter. The third top company in the Indian smartphone market was Vivo. Realme and OPPO came in fourth and fifth respectively, and both reflected triple-digit growth year-on-year the quarter.

The traditional PC market in India also thrived, experiencing 50.5 per cent year-on-year growth in Q2 2021 with the shipment of 3.2 million PCs. Notebooks had the biggest boom of all PCs, carrying 77 per cent of market share and 50 per cent year-on-year market growth. Desktops had a revival of sorts after suffering severely low shipments in Q2 2020 and now rising to take 21 per cent of market share.

As IDC explained, COVID-related school closures increased home-based learning purchases in the quarter, and so did the commercial segment as enterprises enabled continued working from home.

HP had its second million-plus shipment quarter in a row, making it the leader with over a third of market share in Q2 2021. Dell Technologies came in second place with 22 per cent, and Lenovo, although it ranked third, was the only company in the top five to have slid in its year-on-year growth with a -2.8 per cent unit change. Acer came in fourth and Apple and Asus tied for fifth place in market share. Interestingly, Apple experienced a whopping 229 per cent year-on-year unit change to earn a spot on the list.

IDC's India client devices research manager, Jaipal Singh, pointed out that PC demand is slowly shifting to entry-level price points, but that there is huge potential in the market.

"New brands also need to be considerate about the challenges that PC vendors faced in the past in terms of affordability, connectivity, and usability, and their devices portfolio should be aligned to these challenges if they are eying a significant share in this market," said Singh. ®

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