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Smartphone sales dropped after demonetisation, iPhone worst affected

Smartphone sales dropped upto 90%


Smartphones sales have dropped since the Indian government has scrapped old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8.

While the sale of the mobile handsets across price points has suffered since, retailers say that sales of high-end brands such as Apple iPhone have further plunged by 90% across metros and towns.

In a market where a majority of the transactions at the retail level take place in terms of cash, sale of handsets declined from a 50-90% during the past six days across the country.

Smartphone sales dropped after demonetisation, iPhone worst affected
iPhone sales declined

While the sale of some high-end smartphones has come to a standstill in smaller towns and semi-rural markets, markets in the major cities, too, have also suffered heavily.

According to Sheikh Hussain Ali, a large-scale trader at Delhi’s Nehru market where the cash is primarily used for transactions, smartphone sales have gone down by a margin of 80 per cent. “The sale of low-end handsets such as feature phones, too, has halved.”

Sales has impacted e-commerce platforms

The sales have also declined across the country, the nature of slowdown is not similar, a senior executive with one of the major handset manufacturers said. Sales have been further impacted on e-commerce platforms, too, as nearly as 60 per cent of the transactions happen through cash-on-delivery model.

During the January-September period, some around 89 million handsets have been shipped, compared to the estimated shipment, which is over 120 million smartphones in the year 2016.

Smartphone sales dropped after demonetisation, iPhone worst affected
Smart Phone sales declined upto 90%

Analysts point out that since the currency turmoil has hit the market for two out of the three months in the crucial October-December period; sales are bound to miss the target this quarter. Feature phone shipment might also fall below 2015 level (145 million units) as well.

To offset the loss in sales, some of the retailers have come up with instalment schemes as well as ‘buy now pay later’ programmes. However, as liquidity crunch is expected to sustain in the coming weeks, handset sales are unlikely to normalise soon, an industry executive said.

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