India’s smartphone shipments remained flat in 2023 at 152 million units, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Monthly India Smartphone Tracker, but Apple’s iPhone shipments crossed the 10 million mark for the first time.
The research group says the first half of the year was challenging due to ongoing macroeconomic turbulence leading to low demand and an inventory build-up. The market started recovering in the second half of the year supported by 5G upgrades and better-than-expected festive sales.
The premium segment (>INR 30,000, ~ $360) witnessed a 64% year-over-year (YoY) growth in 2023 driven by easy financing schemes, which resulted in consumers jumping price bands to purchase higher-priced smartphones, according to Counterpoint Research Analyst Shubham Singh.
Apple’s focus on India is also aiding the trend, with the brand surpassing the 10-million-unit mark in shipments and capturing the top position in revenue in a calendar year for the first time, propelled by robust demand for both its latest and older iPhones, he says.
“The opening of own retail stores and increasing focus on LFR (large-format retail) through regular promotions contributed to increased offline shipments,” Singh adds. “Besides, higher trade-in values presented an appealing proposition for consumers to transition to iOS.”