Xiaomi has emerged as the top smartphone seller in India, outselling Samsung in the process. Data from two independent market research firms have confirmed the development through the above applies to sales in only the fourth quarter of last year. Samsung still holds the sway when it comes to sales for the entire year.
For the quarter Oct-Dec, Xiaomi shipped about 8.2 million phones; research firm Canalys stated which translates to a market share of 27 percent. Samsung, on the other hand, managed to push sales of 7.3 million handsets during the same period, which account for a 25 percent share of the Indian smartphone market.
Researcher Counterpoint Research is however of the opinion that Xiaomi commands 25 percent market share, edging past Samsung with 23 percent share. The above figures apply to sales in the fourth quarter only. India is considered the second largest smartphone market in the world, second only to China. Also, Samsung has been the top player here for the last six years.
When sales for the entire calendar year 2017 is taken into account, Samsung is still the topper with 24 percent market share, with Xiaomi trailing behind at 19 percent. However, the Chinese manufacturer has a more robust growth story here, having grown from a mere 6 percent market share last year. In comparison, Samsung has actually lost a percentage point given that its share stood at 25 percent last year.
Analysts attributed Xiaomi’s stupendous growth in India to its continued focus towards the budget smartphone segment in the country. That specifically applies to the sub Rs. 15,000 smartphone market which also forms the bulk of smartphones sold in India.
The Chinese manufacturer’s decision to let its Indian operations to functions almost independently with minimal interference is also another reason it fared so well in the country. Xiaomi had also been resorting to flash sales approach with tie-ups with Flipkart and Amazon, the two of India’s largest online marketplace.
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Samsung, however, is already aware of the emerging trend and said they would be working to strengthen its portfolio in the budget segment. Another strategy the company adopted to continue its dominance in India is to push sales via its physical retail stores, of which it already has a significant presence throughout the country.
It will be interesting to see who emerges at the top in 2018.