Home / Technology / Apps /  Xiaomi leads smartphone race in India, Samsung at second place: report

Xiaomi has replaced Samsung and emerged as the number one smartphone vendor in India in the quarter ending December 2017. Xiaomi has replaced Samsung from the top for the first time, according to IDC’s (International Data Corporation) latest quarterly mobile phone tracker. Xiaomi is followed by Samsung, while Vivo has moved up to the third place.

Xiaomi registered a three times year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in shipments and held 26.8% of the market share in the December quarter. The company received major traction through offline retail stores and sold more than 200 million units through various retail partners in the quarter. “Xiaomi’s offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor’s high shipments in the seasonally low quarter," said Upasana Joshi, senior market analyst, IDC India.

Samsung’s market share has gone up to 24.2%, from 23.5% in the quarter ending September 2017, but its growth in terms of shipments has been slower in comparison to Xiaomi.

Vivo managed to move up to the third slot despite the fact that its market share declined from 8.5% in the September quarter to 6.5% in the December quarter. Lenovo, which occupied the third position in the September quarter and held 9% of the market, has dropped to the fourth position with a share of 5.6% in the December quarter. The market share of Oppo, another Chinese phone maker, also reduced from 7.9% in the September quarter to 4.9% in the December quarter. IDC analysts attribute the decline to the company’s reduced presence in retail outlets.

The IDC report, however, does not mention specific market share numbers in India for Apple, OnePlus or Huawei since they only share the numbers for the top-5 phone makers. According to Counterpoint Research’s numbers for the quarter ending December 2017, Apple has a market share of 2.5%.

Despite fears that the Indian market is heading towards a saturation point, the IDC report suggest a healthy y-o-y growth of 14% with total smartphone shipments of 124 million in the entire year and quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) growth of 22%. IDC claims the smartphone market in China witnessed its first decline in 2017, while the US market remained flat.

In terms of annual market share (the combined shipments for all of 2017), Samsung is still the leading vendor with a market share of 24.7% if we are to consider the numbers for all of 2017’s shipments, while Xiaomi is at number two with 20.9% share. Chinese phonemakers strengthened their hold over the market with a combined share of 53%, up from 34% in 2016. The other Chinese companies with the highest annual market share are Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo with 9.4%, 7.8% and 7.5% shares, respectively.

Some of the recent studies are also in line with the IDC report. According to Canalys research, Xiaomi’s market share in the December quarter was 27%, while Samsung held 25% of the market. Counterpoint Research also puts Xiaomi ahead of Samsung in the December quarter with a market share of 25% for the former and 23% for the latter.


Abhijit Ahaskar

Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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