Companies are also trying to generate demand at a time when sales of entry-level and mid-range smartphone sales have been slow, said market trackers.
Retailers told ET that brands have also arranged a clearance sale for outdated stocks that are close to being phased out by adopting permanent price reductions across conventional and online trade channels.
She said that channel partners continue to be cautious when purchasing additional stocks of smartphones. Therefore, rather than focusing on new inventory, brands and channels are now trying to clear out the existing inventory.
Consumers have started to hold off on buying new smartphones until the clearance sales, said Jain, adding that sales have increased as channel partners have become aware of this behaviour.
“Such a thing was mostly seen during the festive season sales. Therefore, it (summer sales) is significant and important to them,” Jain added.
One-third of annual smartphone sales typically occur during the festive season, which is typically from August to October.
Despite this, IDC India predicts that India’s smartphone market will, at best, remain flat YoY in 2023 after experiencing a 10 per cent decline in 2022 due to persistently weak demand for the high-volume, entry-level segment for the second year in a row.
This comes at a time when shipments to online channels have dropped significantly even as the share of offline channels grew.
Faisal Kawoosa of TechArc attributed the rise in offline channel share to the increasing demand for premium smartphones. While consumers do their research about high-end devices online, most of them prefer to go to offline stores to get a touch and feel and get their queries answered before purchasing them from where they get the best deal, he said.
Many offline retailers are apprehensive as the period of steep discounts approaches. This is because whenever there is an online discount sale, brands tend to offer differential pricing in order to drive higher volumes.