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Smartphone market crashes 51% on supply chain woes

NEW DELHI: The coronavirus-induced lockdown and subsequent crunch in parts supplies from China due to border tensions saw the Indian smartphone market contract by 51% in the April-June quarter. Any hopes of a credible revival now rest on the second half, especially the festive period in September-October.
According to numbers collected by smartphone shipments tracker IDC, a little over 18 million units were sold in the second quarter of 2020 against 37 million units in the year-ago period.
“The country remained under lockdown through the first half of the quarter. Vendors faced major supply chain disruptions in the beginning of the quarter, and the shortage continued into the rest of the period as factories operated at partial capacity even after the lockdown was lifted,” IDC said, adding the period also saw components and parts being stuck at ports, waiting to be cleared, especially for China-based vendors.

“By June, sales increased mainly due to the pent-up demand from the lockdown period. However, purchases were mainly driven by availability rather than by choice.” The share of the sub-$200 (below-Rs 15,000) segment reached a high of 84% due to poor consumer sentiment. Even the share of sub-$100 segment (under Rs 7,500) saw good demand as its contribution increased to 29% in the second quarter against 20% in the same period a year ago. IDC India research director Navkendar Singh said the ongoing supply chain challenges forced some of the brands to go for direct imports to meet the pent-up demand after the lockdown, especially in June.

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