The Indian smartphone market has been on a steady rise, and is on its way to recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown. The 2020 Q3 results published in a report by Counterpoint Research, show that India’s smartphone shipments have grown by 9% YoY by hitting a record 53 million units this quarter. More interestingly though, the report says Samsung has reclaimed its spot as the top OEM with the highest smartphone shipment market share.

Xiaomi had occupied the first spot in the Indian smartphone market for three consecutive years, and the spot has now been reclaimed by Samsung, which used to be the leader before Xiaomi overtook it. According to the report, Xiaomi still remains the top online brand. The top five smartphone brands in India by their shipment market share are (in descending order), Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Itel.

The mobile handset market has also grown by 8% YoY in Q3 2020, which includes both smartphone and feature phone sales. The feature phone market alone has seen a growth of 5% YoY, and the company leading the feature phone market is Itel followed by Samsung and Lava. The mid tier smartphone segment with the price range of INR 10,000 to INR 20,000 has seen the highest growth in comparison with the other price segments.

However, there is a discrepancy between a recent report by Canalys and Counterpoint’s report. According to Canalys’ report, the company with the highest shipment market share is Xiaomi at 25.9% followed by Samsung at 20.6%. The new report by Counterpoint Research, puts Samsung on the first spot with 24% smartphone shipment market share and closely followed by Xiamio with 23% market share.

Yet, both reports agree that the smartphone market has hit record high shipments in Q3 2020. Though the numbers do slightly differ: Canalys’ data shows 50 million shipments and Counterpoint Research’s shows 53 million.

Regardless of the differences between the two reports, there is no doubt that both of them suggest a positive growth of the Indian smartphone market. “The Indian smartphone market is on a recovery path as the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed. The market has shown a consistent growth for the last few months,” said Prachir Singh, Senior Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research.

The elaborate and competitive festive sales led by e-commerce giants such as Flipkart and Amazon could have led to the rise in smartphone sales. The drastic lifestyle changes the pandemic has brought, such as increased recreational time and reduced outdoor spending could also be potential contributors to the positive growth of the market. “Due to the pandemic, Indian consumers have ended up saving on leisure activities. These savings are now being funnelled into smartphone purchases. Additionally, smartphones have become an integral part of consumers’ lifestyle in this changing environment,” said the analyst, Pichar Singh.