Election season fails to boost smartphone demand

Anticipated pre-election smartphone sales surge fails to materialise, but industry experts are hopeful for moderate growth later in the year, aligning with typical trends.

By  Storyboard18Apr 3, 2024 6:01 PM
Election season fails to boost smartphone demand
According to Counterpoint Research, there has been a decrease in smartphone sales during the initial months of the year, and a persistent sluggish pattern is anticipated in the upcoming months. (Representative Image: Rodion Kutsaiev via Unsplash)

As India prepares for the Lok Sabha elections, a time usually associated with heightened consumer spending and market activity, smartphone sales are deviating from the usual pattern. Despite anticipations, there hasn't been a notable increase in smartphone demand prior to the elections, suggesting a subdued market sentiment, as reported by Moneycontrol.

Experts had expected an upsurge in smartphone purchases before the elections, as seen in past electoral cycles and festive periods. Nonetheless, the failure to introduce substantial government initiatives providing complimentary devices, a tactic previously utilised to gain voter favour, has played a role in the underwhelming performance of the smartphone market.

The Moneycontrol report quoted Shilpi Jain, a Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research, who emphasised the lack of measures aimed at boosting consumer spending leading up to the elections. The Uttar Pradesh government's acquisition of 2.5 million smartphones through the Swami Vivekananda Yuva Sashaktikaran Yojana serves as a notable outlier in this context.

Faisal Kawoosa, the founder and analyst at TechArc, highlighted the waning effectiveness of smartphones as a political instrument, in the report. With political parties not making significant pledges of distributing free devices, the smartphone sector lacks its customary pre-election momentum.

According to Counterpoint Research, there has been a decrease in smartphone sales during the initial months of the year, and a persistent sluggish pattern is anticipated in the upcoming months. TechArc's initial data for the January-March quarter indicates a decline in sales, estimated at 25-27 million units, in contrast to 29-30 million units sold during the same period last year.

Analysts attribute the subdued demand to various factors including the aftermath of the festive season, extended replacement cycles, and a lack of compelling incentives for consumers to upgrade. Furthermore, the absence of enticing features beyond 5G compatibility further diminishes consumer interest.


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First Published on Apr 3, 2024 6:01 PM

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