Xiaomi ousts Samsung to become top smartphone maker in India

  • Xiaomi ousts Samsung to become top smartphone maker in India

Xiaomi ousts Samsung to become top smartphone maker in India

Xiaomi has replaced Samsung as the top smartphone manufacturer in India, ending years-long streak, as the Chinese handset maker grows more aggressive and expands its presence in the country, market and research firms Canalys and Counterpoint said on Wednesday. Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million units, while the South Korean company, which posted an annual growth of 17%, shipped 7.3 million units and now holds 25% of the market share.

As you would expect, Xiaomi sent out its own press release within minutes of Samsung sending out their's, refuting the claims made by Samsung and reiterating their position as India's top smartphone OEM.

Xiaomi is now the the leading smartphone brand in India, ahead of Samsung, according to the latest numbers shared by Counterpoint research firm.

The last quarterly tracker by US-based research agency IDC (International Data Corporation) for Q3, 2017, had put the two companies at par with each other.

The Counterpoint Research report, meanwhile, attributed 25 percent market share to Xiaomi in Q4 2017, followed by Samsung with 23 percent share.

Xiaomi had entered India three years ago. "Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi's Indian operations", Dutt added.

The other top five slots were filled by Vivo, OPPO and Lenovo respectively.

However, Counterpoint also says Samsung was the market leader in both smartphones and the overall mobile phone market (includes feature phones) for all of 2017.

"As per GfK, which tracks sales to end consumers, in the last (November) quarter Samsung had a 45% value market share and 40% volume market share. Samsung is a full range player and leads the smartphone business across every segment of the India market in 2017", the company said in a statement.

After this, the rest of the story flows as it is.

"The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-priced portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers", Rushabh Doshi, Canalys Research analyst, said.

The South Korean company has been unable to win over cost-conscious buyers, thereby losing market share in the sub-15,000 rupee ($235) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter, he said. Despite its ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for Samsung's devices has been weak.

Doshi said the intense fight between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue in 2018, as Samsung plans to revamps its low-priced portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.

Doshi pointed out, however, that Samsung's "far superior" R&D and its supply chain expertise give it advantages that will help it compete fiercely with Xiaomi brand, which arguably better marketed in India.