The second wave of covid-19 infections in India has dragged the country’s smartphone market by 13% sequentially in the June quarter.

According to a report by market research firm Canalys, smartphone shipment fell 13% to 32.4 million units in the June quarter. However, the report noted that the market still grew 87% year-on-year due to the localised lockdowns in the quarter compared to the year-ago period.

The country had seen only 17.3 million shipments in the second quarter last year, due to the nationwide lockdowns imposed by the government.

“India was taken by surprise by its second wave, as the new COVID variant emerged and took hold quickly,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, analyst at Canalys. “For smartphone vendors, this was a wake-up call, and shows the importance of bolstering both online and offline presences equally. Smartphone vendors in India had assumed COVID-19 would not return, and several planned to invest in infrastructure for branded stores and partnerships with third-party offline channels. But once again they were quickly compelled to pivot to an online strategy,” he added.

Further, the report said that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi remained at the top of the market, with 29% market share and 9.5 million unit shipments. Samsung came in at number two with 5.5 million units and 17% market share. Xiaomi’s Chinese compatriots, Vivo, Realme and Oppo, which are all owned by BBK Electronics, took the next three sports, respectively.

While Vivo shipped 5.4 million units, Realme and Oppo shipped 4.9 million and 3.8 million units, respectively. The three companies had 17%, 15% and 12% market share, respectively, according to Canalys.

Demand for electronics and consumer durables has been growing since state governments started lifti lockdowns back in May. “It has been a very pleasant surprise that recovery has been better than last year,” Nilesh Gupta, director of Mumbai-based retail chain Vijay Sales told Mint earlier this month. “If I compare post-unlock last year to this year, this year has been better. I have no clue why, because logic told us that it will not happen and it will be a tough recovery,” he added.

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