It’s been a year to forget for most of India’s major phone brands, with both market share and growth declining sharply year-on-year. So it’s no surprise that most brands plan to keep December relatively quiet. According to our sources in the retail sector, four of the top five smartphone brands in India have no plans to launch any major devices in the country.
Realme 10 Series – Major Launch in December
In fact, at the time of writing, only Realme among the top five is planning a major launch in the Indian market – the Realme 10 series, which is expected to be announced on December 8. No other brand – Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo or Vivo – is planning a major launch this month. Xiaomi has Poco, Oppo has OnePlus and Vivo has iQoo. According to our sources, there may be some “soft launches” and maybe some new colors and RAM/storage variants of older models will be launched, but most of the top brands are likely to let December pass without a big launch.
What about other brands?
It has been a relatively quiet period for all major brands. Unlike the past few months when the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung and OnePlus released high-profile devices or at least talked about upcoming devices, the past few months have been almost deafeningly quiet. Xiaomi’s last notable phone was the super budget-friendly Redmi A1 in early October, OnePlus hasn’t launched a phone in India since the OnePlus 10T in early August, Vivo had the Y16 at the end of September, Oppo had the A77 at the end of August, and Samsung since its high-profile launch of foldables. It is relatively quiet. To their credit, brands like Realme and Motorola have been somewhat active, but by and large, the Indian smartphone market has been very quiet in recent times and that trend is unlikely to change in December.
Considering the OnePlus 10T? Save your money, go for OnePlus 10R!
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Why is there a recession?
According to some retailers, due to the global recession, there is a general sense of pessimism from most brands about big launches, leading to them keeping a low profile in India. According to some, the lack of ingredients has made brands more conservative about launching. Rising prices of mid-segment phones have dampened demand, something even the advent of 5G has not been able to overcome. Some retailers said Samsung and OnePlus had planned launches in November and December but scaled back plans after a relatively quiet festive season, although all brands claimed online sales did well during the festivities. Some were expecting new devices from iQoo and Redmi in November and December. Again, that doesn’t seem likely, although Poco is expected to soft launch the budget 5G device in India.
Is 2023 going to be any different?
However, that is expected to change in early 2023, with Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo and OnePlus all expected to launch flagships in India in the first quarter of the year. According to a source, the high-profile launch party is likely to kick off with the Vivo X90 Pro. That said, if you’re looking forward to a high-profile phone launch in India in December, we’d advise you not to hold your breath until you see the Realme 10 series.