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Offline Smartphone Distribution Grew in India in 2022

by Rajeev Nair | Feb 23, 2023

Online distribution channels accounted for 45% of the smartphone volumes in Q4 2022 in India. This, as the demand for devices declined sharply, in the second half of the quarter. Overall, India smartphone market declined by -31% annually and is among the sharpest drops in recent times. Detailed analysis and estimates by distribution channels are available here for the India market from our Smartphone Country Share Tracker (SCST).

For the whole of 2022 offline distribution accounted for 53% of the volume share from half of it, a year back.

Smartphone distribution scenario is a mixed bag currently for the top five vendors in the country. While the likes of Xiaomi and Realme have a heavy tilt towards online channels, the likes of Vivo, OPPO, Samsung are offline heavy. Physical retail stores are to get further push in 2023 with the likes of Apple and Samsung focusing on different physical distribution formats in key cities of the country.

While eTailers continue to dominate smartphone distribution in India, other retail formats like the Multi-brand Retail Out lets, Large Format Retail stores would have to

  • Increase the speed of digital engagement with the end user
  • Partner with the vendors and financial institutions to bring back repeat users.

2023 is likely to be a growth year for smartphones in the India market, despite economic headwinds and other challenges globally. With an aggressive 5G roll out, vendors would have to carefully plan and support their distribution strategy.

  1. What is likely to be their channel mix?
  2. Do mobile operators have a role in distribution with 5G coming in?
  3. Which of the sub channels/ distribution can be supported wit better financing mix?India SP Channels - Q4 22
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