Xiaomi usurps Samsung in fast growing India

Bill Rogers
January 26, 2018

The Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung to become India's largest smartphone seller.

Analytical firm Canalys recently reported that Xiaomi was the top smartphone manufacturer in India during the fourth quarter, shipping 8.2 million units from October through December.

South Korean Electronics giant, Samsung which has been holding the Top rank in Smartphone segment in India for the last six years, has lost the crown to Chinese company, Xiaomi.

According to Canalys, Xiaomi had managed to ship over 8.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of a year ago, while the company shipped 7.3 million smartphones. Here, it is worth noting that the dip in Samsung's shipments was recorded despite the company registering annual growth of 17 percent.

Coming to the overall smartphone market in the country, together Xiaomi and Samsung now control half of the total smartphone shipments in the country and the likes of Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo are struggling to hold on to their single-digit market share. "As Xiaomi's market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries".

"Xiaomi's persistence has paid off", said Ishan Dutt, research analyst at Canalys.

Another research firm Counterpoint, in its latest Market monitor on smartphones for 4Q 2017, puts Xiaomi ahead of Samsung with market share of 25%, while the latter is trailing it by 2%.

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For the full calendar year, however, Samsung still emerged on top with 24 percent of the market, Counterpoint Research said.

This battle is far from over in India, but the news will also have wider implications for Xiaomi's worldwide ambitions.

Reacting to the report, a Samsung India spokesperson said in a statement that the company is "Indias number 1 smartphone company by a distance". It will be interesting to see what will happen in 2018, as the changes from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 are staggering, at least in Xiaomi's case. The main reason for the huge growth is attributed to the autonomy given to the Indian unit of the company, which enabled the manufacturer to run the business locally.

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

There have been reports of Samsung going bullish on the online market where people prefer smartphones with better value for money.

Although Samsung offers increased margins, the ultimate demand for Samsung smartphones including tablets has been very weak.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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