Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi has taken the throne from Samsung by becoming the number one smartphone brand in India. According to the research firm Canalys, Xiaomi shipped 8.4 million smartphone units during Q4 2017 in the India and captured 27 per cent market share.
On the other hand, Samsung which lead the market for six years shipped 7.2 million units during the same period and holds 25 per cent market share.
Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50 per cent of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27 per cent and second-place Samsung at 25 per cent.
Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations,” said, Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst.
“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-Rs 15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.
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The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”
“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “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.”
A Samsung’s spokesperson said, “Samsung is India’s number 1 smartphone company by a distance. 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. More importantly, Samsung is India’s ‘Most Trusted’ brand. We owe our undisputed leadership to the love and trust of millions of our consumers in India.”