Chip shortage hitting entry-level smartphones

New Delhi, November 24, 2021.

Popular entry-level offerings from leading smartphone brands such as Redmi, Oppo and Vivo, are in short supply across India. Several retailers blamed the global semiconductor chip shortage for the unavailability of budget phones, forcing many brands to either increase prices of popular budget phones or entirely shift their focus towards those models where profit can be made.

“For the past six months, we have not been getting supplies of budget phones from Mi, Oppo, Vivo and Samsung,” said the store manager of a Delhi-based retailer who did not want to be named. The phones that are hard to come by in retail stores are the ones priced between Rs 7000 and Rs 10,000, which are aimed at entry-level consumers or first-time smartphone users. “There was a time when we used to get 10 units of a popular phone model and now we are not getting a single unit,” the manager said, adding that a popular Chinese smartphone brand has put out a condition that if we sell a certain number of its mid-range phones and if we meet the target, then only the company will restock in-demand budget phone models.

“There was a time when brands put pressure on us to sell a phone costing Rs 7000 now that same phone is unavailable for Rs 8500. I haven’t seen this situation before.

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