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India smartphone market set to recover by 40% in 2nd half: Report

After going through disruptions in supply chain and curtailed domestic production, the Indian smartphone market is now showing encouraging signs of revival that sets it on a potential course for market recovery for over 40 percent in the second half this year, according to a new report.

Over the short-term, the mobile market will improve in mid-Q3, spurred by early online sales festivals, setting the smartphone market on a potential path to recovery towards the all-important festive season.

During this period, smartphone brands will focus on showcasing their consumer-centric value propositions, focusing more on hyperlocal delivery models, and launching more 5G-ready smartphones, according to market research firm CMR’s ‘India Mobile Handset Market Review Report.’

CMR’s current estimates point to better performance for the Indian smartphone market in H2 2020, with the market anticipated to recover by more than 40 percent in comparison to the first half.

“As a consequence of the pandemic, Q2 2020 was, in essence, a lost quarter. While the mobile handset industry faced multiple challenges with respect to their supply and demand-side dynamics, the industry looks set on the path to a potential recovery in the coming months,” said Amit Sharma, Manager-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.

The initial consumer demand in the unlock phase was driven predominantly through online channels and driven by the need for urgent replacements.

“Facing up to the pandemic, smartphone brands debuted innovative hyperlocal delivery models, some of which have the potential to gain permanence,” Sharma added.

The path to potential recovery will be led by pent-up consumer demand, driven by the need for upgrades.

In the run-up to the festive season, consumers will seek to go for meaningful value propositions that bring devices and compelling content ecosystem offerings, together.

“This, coupled by smartphone brands bringing more value for money offerings and backed by aggressive messaging, will potentially drive the market,” said Sharma.

Thus far, a key challenge for the smartphone market in India to grow has been the inability to offer value propositions that will help feature phone users to migrate to smartphones.

“We believe recent announcements, such as the Jio-Google deal, augur well for the future of the mobile handset industry in India, and in potentially enabling the migration of feature phones to smartphone users, with its focus on driving affordability,” said analyst Anand Priya Singh.

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