Cell phone manufacturing down 50% amid a relentless second Covid-19 wave


Localised lockdowns, a semiconductor scarcity, and a surge in Covid-19 instances at factories have led to a slowdown in cell phone manufacturing and gross sales in April-Could, heads of a number of corporations informed Enterprise Customary.

Business veterans akin to S N Rai, co-founder, Lava Worldwide, and Rajesh Agarwal, co-founder, Micromax, stated manufacturing was down about 50 per cent on this interval because the pandemic raged throughout the nation.

“The state of affairs is definitely difficult on this (June) quarter. Although some companies, together with ours, might keep it up manufacturing in April due to buffer element shares, not all corporations had been in a position to do it. Could, thus far, has been disastrous for all, because the illness spreads and lockdown curbs stay intact. At an trade degree, subsequently, the hit to enterprise is definitely 50 per cent,” stated Rai.

On Tuesday, information company Reuters, citing sources, reported a 50 per cent lower in manufacturing of iPhones at Foxconn’s Chennai facility resulting from a wave of Covid-19 infections on the manufacturing unit. Foxconn is Apple’s contract producer in India. It additionally produces telephones for Xiaomi within the nation.

In accordance with analysis agency IDC, a slowdown in smartphone shipments started exhibiting up as early as late February, although corporations insist that the March quarter was positive, albeit on a low base.

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The IDC information for the January-March 2021 interval reveals a decline of 14 per cent in smartphone shipments versus the December quarter. On a year-on-year foundation, nonetheless, the expansion is eighteen per cent.

“The June quarter shall be tough, extra so as a result of sentiment is down. The second Covid wave has elevated in a short time, affecting procuring sentiment. As soon as the lockdown curbs are lifted, we could slowly see a revival,” Agarwal of Micromax stated.

Navkendar Singh, analysis director at IDC India, stated, “The restoration in calendar yr 2021 may not be as easy as anticipated earlier, with uncertainty across the lasting impression of the second wave and a doable third wave within the subsequent few months.”


Singh stated he noticed single-digit year-on-year development for the smartphone market in 2021, a markdown from the sooner expectations of double-digit development for the yr. He additionally warned of diminished discretionary spending, provide chain constraints, and anticipated value hikes in parts within the quarters forward.

Rai stated that whereas manufacturing might start with a lag of two to a few weeks as soon as lockdown curbs had been lifted, he anticipated a good restoration for the market within the coming months.

IDC makes an fascinating commentary right here. It notes that stock pipelines started getting longer as shopping for sentiment started altering from finish of February-early March, implying the sector isn’t out of the woods but and that shopper sentiment is fickle.

“Although the vaccine roll-out programme at first of the 2021 calendar yr did instill optimistic sentiment amongst customers, the onset of the second wave of Covid-19 infections in direction of the tip of the quarter has resulted in subdued shopper demand. Thus, the stock cycle, which had shrunk earlier within the second half of 2020, started getting longer in direction of the latter a part of the March quarter,” IDC stated.

Additionally, customers on the higher finish of the smartphone market had been extra inclined to purchase telephones versus these on the mass finish. Within the March quarter, for example, cargo of telephones priced above Rs 37,000 grew by a whopping 143 per cent versus final yr, whereas cargo of telephones priced underneath Rs 2,000 declined 8 per cent.

The IDC information reveals that main smartphone participant Xiaomi registered solely 3 per cent year-on-year development in shipments within the March quarter, regardless of a low base. Vivo and Realme reported a 3 and 4 per cent year-on-year decline in shipments for the interval underneath evaluation.


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