Xiaomi overtakes Samsung to become the largest smartphone brand in India

26 January, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Xiaomi Xiaomi Samsung Samsung Xiaomi India Xiaomi shares India Xiaomi Canalys IDC India Canalys smartphone Samsung vs Xiaomi

A spokesman for the Korean tech giant says that Samsung is not only the number one smartphone company in India, it is on top "by a distance".

India has emerged as the top priority for electronics and software maker Xiaomi - above even the Chinese market, according to founder and chief executive Lei Jun. "Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago", said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst, in a statement. Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo followed them with 6 percent share.

Researcher Counterpoint Research is however of the opinion that Xiaomi commands 25 percent market share, edging past Samsung with 23 percent share. Samsung contends that it is still the top handset seller in India if the total revenue generated from smartphones, or the amount of handsets shipped was to be taken into consideration. As per a German research company GfK, which tracks sales to end consumers in the last (November) quarter Samsung had a 45% value market share and 40% volume market share.

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Another reason why Xiaomi was able to topple Samsung was because it allowed its Indian unit the freedom to run the business locally, Canalys posited.

The new partnership will help Reliance to bring a wide range of products to the Indian market, where Xiaomi is the new leader in the smartphone segment. That specifically applies to the sub Rs. 15,000 smartphone market which also forms the bulk of smartphones sold in India.

According to Analyst Rushabh Doshi, the loss of Samsung is due to the inability of the company to push the budget-friendly smartphones.

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On the other hand, data by Canalys suggests that Xiaomi has shipped around 8.2 million units in Q4. It is worth noting, however, that Xiaomi and Samsung own more than 50 percent of the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi is at 27 percent, while Samsung now holds 25 percent of the market. The company has also reiterated its commitment to entry and mid-range smartphone tiers by trickling down premium features such as Samsung Pay to many of them. India is now the world's largest smartphone market after China.

Samsung offered better margins and funding to the offline channel to create phone consumer demand. For Samsung, the most popular handsets during the period between October and December past year were Samsung J2 2017 and J7 NXT, the marketing firm said.

This is the first major shake up at the top in years. The last three years has demonstrated to the Xiaomi management team the benefits of loosening the reigns and building a more localised market strategy, but will also prove Xiaomi can be a useful partner in other more lucrative markets.

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