Demand exceeded supply just before Diwali’s crucial buying period for consumer electronics and high-end smartphones, as several popular models disappeared from the market.

Retailers and industry executives said several top-selling models, such as Apple’s iPhone 11, 12, and 13 series, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Flip models, premium TVs and devices imported from most brands are either out of stock or out of stock. . The shortage accounts for 15-30% of potential demand, industry executives said.

The supply crunch has amplified due to robust sales during the Navratri period (October 2-15), led by markets such as Flipkart and Amazon, and physical retailers like Reliance Digital, Croma, Vijay Sales and Great Eastern Retail.


“Supplies continue to be unpredictable,” said Avijit Mitra, general manager of Tata-owned electronics distribution chain Croma. “It’s actually more (in devices) where chips are needed, which means high-end and imported models.”

Delays in delivery

Amazon and Flipkart, in particular, had predicted this increase and sellers had sourced much earlier with higher inventories, which is why things are relatively better in these markets. Diwali is November 4th.

For Apple in particular, several prominent chains and executives have said it is the worst sourcing situation for iPhones right now, given the demand is high. The iPhone maker likely shipped over 2 million handsets to India in the last quarter, which is a record in itself, according to market research. Despite this, Apple’s own online store now has a three to four week delivery time for even two-year models like the iPhone 11. Popular iPhone 12 variants in Flipkart are out of stock. , while others have a week. delivery time. The new iPhone 13 Pro models are out of stock with a delivery time of over a month at Apple’s own online store.

Samsung India has sent an SOS to headquarters for more stock for the newly launched super premium smartphones, as these are currently imported from South Korea, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Smartphone market leader Xiaomi has warned a few large physical chains that there could be supply disruptions over the next seven to ten days.

“Strengthen local manufacturing”

A spokesperson for Xiaomi said there have been shortages throughout the supply chain due to challenges related to the pandemic.

“During the holiday season, we have seen a huge increase in consumer demand,” said the spokesperson for Xiaomi. “Seeing a constant increase in demand and keeping in mind the gap between demand and supply, we have worked with various suppliers and try to do our best to provide as much as possible. To ensure we close the gap, we have been working towards expanding our local manufacturing capabilities. ”Apple and Samsung did not respond to queries.

The consumer electronics and smartphone industry has faced an acute supply crisis in recent weeks due to a shortage of semiconductors – a crucial component of smartphones, smart TVs and high-end devices . In addition to the surge in global demand, shipping containers are scarce, with retailers and online stores in Western countries stocking up for the holiday sales.

Neeraj Bahl, managing director of BSH Household Appliances India, which sells Bosch and Siemens appliances, said the company was losing nearly 15% of its potential sales during Diwali due to the supply shortage. “Most of our top-selling and imported premium ranges are out of stock, while even our refrigerator factory production in India is affected due to component issues,” he said.

Crucial festive period

High-end imported products priced at 75,000 yen at Rs 1 lakh and above face supply constraints, said Deepak Bansal, vice president of LG Electronics India, the country’s largest home appliance maker. .

“Shipments are delayed and if demand increases further over the next seven to ten days, the shortage will increase,” he said.

An executive at one of the major smartphone makers said the industry saw record sales during the Navratri period thanks to e-commerce and therefore a gap was inevitable given the global supply crisis.