Despite the problems of pandemic and supply chain issues, India had a total of 117 smartphone models by launched by various brands in the period between January and June 2021. Of the 117 unveiled, 54 models sported a MediaTek SoC, making it the hands down winner among the chipmakers. Qualcomm led the 5G smartphone launches with 20 out of 35 models launched using its chipset.
Among smartphone brands, Samsung led with 16 launches, closely followed by Realme with 15. Vivo was at the third position with 10 launches. Across the brands, there were 178 variants of models launched for various price segments with different configurations, according to a report by the market research agency Techarc.
Need for domestic manufacturers of chips felt
Releasing the India Smartphone Chipset Report, Faisal Kawoosa, Chief Analyst, Techarc said, “Selection of a chipset supplier is an important decision for OEMs enabling them to build smartphones with an ideal balance of features, performance and experience.”
He added: “This is an area where India needs to pursue AtmaNirbhar ambition rigorously and soon have a domestic player making chipsets for smartphones and other smart devices. We do have hopes in players like Saankhya Labs.”
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and MediaTek’s Helio G35 are caught in a dead-heat for the No 1 chipset slot. A total of 9 models each were launched using these chipsets. “This is clearly due to increasing interest towards smartphone gaming and OEMs launching optimal gaming experience devices across price points,” Techarc said
In 5G smartphones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 led with 9 models launched followed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870, MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U and MediaTek’s 700 at second place with 5 launches each.
Kavita Behera, Analyst, Techarc said, “The Premium and Luxe segments are Qualcomm’s strongholds as it usually introduces SoCs of new platforms first aligning with the plans of smartphone OEMs to offer latest technology in premium segments first. However, the major volume segments of Basic and Mid-range are strongly held by MediaTek.”
Basic segment (Rs 6K to 12K) has the most buyers
In terms of maximum variants launched on a chipset, MediaTek’s Helio G80 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 732G were used as SoC for 11 variants each by smartphone OEMs.
MediaTek offered a wider portfolio with 17 different chipsets while 15 chipsets of Qualcomm were picked by various brands.
In the entry segment (less than Rs 6,000), 3 out of 10 smartphones launched were on UNISOC, 2 on Qualcomm and 1 on a MediaTek chipset. This segment is critical for widening the smartphone user base in India helping millions of featurephone users to upgrade. “However, OEMs are yet to find an ideal product for this segment with an ideal balance between experience and price.”
The Basic segment (Rs 6,000 – Rs 12,000) was dominated with MediaTek as 26 smartphone models were launched using the company’s chipset out of a total of 42 smartphones launched in the period.
Basic segment is still the largest segment contributing 46.1% of smartphone sales during the period.
The Mid-segment (Rs 12,001 – Rs 25,000) is another fast-growing segment, and here too MediaTek is the leader with 23 smartphone models out of 42 were launched on its chipset. In comparison only 17 smartphone models were launched on a Qualcomm chipset. This segment is the 2nd largest segment by sales contributing 39.7%.
The Premium segment (Rs 25,001 – Rs 50,000) is strong with Qualcomm with 13 out of 19 smartphone models launched on a Snapdragon chipset. In this segment MediaTek had 5 launches. The segment contributed 8.7% of smartphone sales during Jan-Jun 2021.
In the Luxe segment (more than Rs 50,00) Qualcomm is the only pureplay fabless chipset provider with 7 out of 10 smartphones launched in the segment. MediaTek is yet to foray in the segment. The segment contributed 1.3% of the smartphone sales during the period.
The 5nm node is picking up in India with 13 smartphone models launched with this size of chipset. However, maximum (40) smartphones were launched on 12nm node.