SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. was the second-largest smartphone vendor in India last year, a report showed Tuesday, as its offline sales declined amid the pandemic.

The South Korean tech giant shipped 29.7 million smartphones in India in 2020, down 4 percent from a year earlier, for a 20 percent market share, according to market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).

“Samsung remained in its second spot in the 2020 ranking, with its online-heavy portfolio driven by the Galaxy M series and the newly launched F series,” IDC said. “Online channel registered strong 65 percent year-on-year growth, while the offline channel shipments declined by 28 percent, thus leading to an overall drop of 4 percent in 2020.”

Samsung was the only non-Chinese brand in the top five Indian smartphone market.

Xiaomi topped the market in 2020 with a 27 percent market share although its smartphone shipments declined 6 percent on-year to 41 million units.

“Xiaomi’s performance in 2020 was led by its affordable Redmi 8 series, gradually replaced by the Redmi 9 series in the second half of 2020,” IDC said.

This photo, provided by Samsung Electronics Co. on Sept. 18, 2020, shows consumers looking at the company’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 smartphone at a store in Gurugram, India. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Another Chinese smartphone maker, Vivo, took the third spot with an 18 percent market share after its shipments jumped 12 percent on-year to 26.7 million units, while Realme captured the fourth slot with a 13 percent market share after shipping 19.2 million smartphones, up 19 percent from a year earlier.

In 2020, the Indian smartphone market contracted 2 percent on-year to 149.7 million units due to the pandemic, according to IDC.

However, IDC predicted a “stronger market acceleration” in 2021 following a rebound in the second half of 2020. In the last three months of 2020, India saw record fourth-quarter smartphone shipments with 45 million units, up 21 percent from a year ago.

In particular, in the fourth quarter of 2020, Samsung’s shipments soared 35 percent on-year to 7.7 million units.

“In 2021, IDC expects the smartphone market to grow in high single-digit year-on-year, driven majorly by upgrading consumers, in the mid-range segment and affordable 5G offerings,” Navkendar Singh, a research director at IDC India, said. “Also, revamped offline channel play is anticipated to bring back growth in the very important brick and mortar counters for long term sustainability.”