Foldable phone shipments in India to grow 20-30% in 2023

Foldable phone shipments in India to grow 20-30% in 2023

Tech News

NEW DELHI: Domestic foldable phone shipments are likely to see a rise of 20-30% next year, after 2022 saw an increase of more than 50%, both globally and in India. According to market research firm Counterpoint’s annual report, titled ‘Global Foldable Smartphone Market Forecast, Q3 2022’, FY23 is likely to close at a 52% annual growth, with 22.7 million foldable phones shipped globally. However, foldable smartphone shipments in India, despite growing in line with the pace in global shipments, remain a very small part of the overall pie.

Industry officials said that around 400,000 foldable smartphones have been shipped in India in calendar year (CY) 2022. “Even though foldable phone shipments should grow 20-30% next year, they remain small in overall numbers, accounting for just over 2% of all phone shipments priced above 30,000 in India, as of the December quarter,” a senior industry official told Mint.

According to Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint, the ‘premium’ smartphone market of India, for handsets priced above 30,000, accounted for “between 10-11% of the overall market” as of September quarter. According to Counterpoint’s quarterly data, 45 million smartphones were shipped in India during the period.

Speaking to Mint, Singh said that the market share of foldable phones is unlikely to drastically change next year, given its small installed user base in the country. “India’s average selling price (ASP) for smartphones is still at around $245 (approx. 20,300), while foldable phones are priced at a lofty niche — even among the niche premium smartphone buyers in India,” he said.

Globally, foldable phones captured a double-digit market share in the ultra-premium price segment (above $1,000) for the first time this year, said Tarun Pathak, director, global smartphone practice at Counterpoint. “We expect it to rise above 20% globally in 2023,” Pathak added.

Counterpoint’s report noted that while Samsung will continue to lead the foldable phones market next year, China-headquartered brands such as Honor, Motorola, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are likely to contribute to increasing competition and falling prices through next year.

However, despite this growth in foldable smartphone shipments, the overall smartphone market has remained muted, with 2022 marked as a year of multiple sequential shipment declines.

The September quarter, typically seen as the strongest shipment quarter for smartphone vendors in India, witnessed a “first ever” annual shipment decline this year with an 11% drop. Industry experts attributed the fall to higher-than-ever-before inventories of up to 10 weeks, coupled with falling customer demand amid inflationary concerns.

Even amid this decline, the premium market saw a surge in shipments driven by festival season deals for devices of brands such as Apple, Samsung and OnePlus. According to Counterpoint’s 4 November report, the premium segment reached its highest-ever market share in India with 12% in the September quarter, the period when Apple’s iPhone 13 became the most shipped smartphone in India.

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