New Delhi– India’s smartphone market is set to hit a record high of 173 million units in 2021 at 14 per cent (on-year) growth, a new report showed on Friday.

More than 100 million smartphones will be shipped in H2 2021 and 5G devices will make up 19 per cent of the overall market, according to Counterpoint Research’s India handset quarterly outlook.

“The market has been experiencing a steady growth curve over the last five years to reach 158 million units in 2019. COVID-19 saw the market experiencing only a minor dip of 4 per cent in 2020, showcasing its resilience as well as the emergence of smartphones in a more important role,” said Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra.

The biggest factor pushing the market could be the launch of Reliance Jio’s low-cost Android phone JioPhone Next in September, which will enable migration of feature phone users to smartphones.

The country has a considerable installed base of 320 million feature phone users.

“The JioPhone Next phone is expected to be priced below $75, a price point that hasn’t seen major activity in the last two years. If it works as expected, we might see the Indian market entering a period of hyper-growth,” Malhotra added.

In 2020, 5G smartphones accounted for less than 3 per cent of the market.

But in 2021, the market for 5G devices will grow over eight times to reach 32 million units and make up 19 per cent of the overall smartphone market.

“Our outlook for India for the next five years remains positive, keeping in mind its 1.39-billion (and growing) population, upgrade of users from feature phone to smartphone, and future emergence of new use cases. The market is set to cross the 200-million mark in the next couple of years,” the report noted. (IANS)