Online mobile sales skyrocket during festive season in India

Over 42.6 million handsets have been shipped to India in the last two months to cater to the demand.

Photo by Przemyslaw Marczynski on Unsplash

Premium Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus said Tuesday it has clocked USD 70.4 million revenue in the first two days of festive period sale on Amazon India during its flagship yearly sale that will last till October 4. OnePlus claimed it has seen a growth of 100% compared to last year in the country, it’s one of the largest markets that accounts for 33% of its global revenue.

The top three premium smartphone brands–Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple–have touched USD 105.6 million in sales on day one alone collectively on Flipkart and Amazon’s festive period sale. Flipkart said sales from tier 2 and 3 cities have doubled compared to last year’s sale during the same period.

“Our affordability programs such as no-cost EMI, exchange, instant bank discounts, among others continue to enable record number of customers to upgrade to premium phones this festive season,” Manish Tiwary, vice president – category management at Amazon India told local media Economic Times. Premium phones in India are priced at over USD 422.

Despite slowing economy, India’s public spend is expected to peak during the current festive season fuelled by new product launches, discounts offered by manufacturers and payment companies during the festive period sale run by e-commerce platforms.

While online sellers and handset manufacturers are rejoicing, the impending success claimed by them has not gone down well with the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA). On the behalf of brick and mortar mobile phone retailers, AIMRA has demanded that India’s leading smartphone brands offer the same percentage of discounts to offline retailers to be passed on to the customers, as is being given to e-tailers.

The e-commerce marketplaces hosting the festive shopping gala have washed off their hands from the festering issue, and declared that they are not at fault, as it’s the brands that are offering the discounts, and not the online platforms. Further enraged by the response, AIMRA has shot off letters to mobile manufacturers.

“As a manufacturer, you are responsible for maintaining the balance of online and offline mobile retail business; however, you are creating a gaping divide between these two and disbalancing the entire mobile retail business,” the letter said.

Incidentally, physical stores in India still contribute to over 63% of the mobile phone sales in the country.

Seeing the demand during the festive period, manufacturers are also launching their new devices and products. Leading smartphone manufacturers like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Apple, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Realme are said to be collectively launching 75 new models. Samsung has timed the launch of the world’s first foldable smartphone, Galaxy Fold during the Indian festivities at a price point of USD 2,325.

According to market researcher International Data Corporation, over 42.6 million handsets have been shipped to India in the last two months to cater to the demand.

India, the world’s second largest mobile market after China by number of phones sold is expected to clock the sales of an estimated record 302 million mobile handsets in 2019, according to technology research consulting firm techARC. During the festive online sales, techARC estimates that around 10 million smartphones are likely to be sold. As per its report, six million new users will be added to the 4G user base in India, who previously owned 2G/3G smartphones.