NEW DELHI: With a dominant 28.9% market share in India’s smartphone market, Chinese brand Xiaomi sold 4.11 crore handsets in India during the calendar year 2018, according to a market report by research firm IDC. The report said Xiaomi's Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5/Pro series have emerged as the fastest selling devices of 2018 across brands, driving 1 crore shipments each in the entire year.

Overall, 14.23 crore smartphones were sold in India during 2018, a year-on-year growth rate of 14.5%.

“Xiaomi continued to dominate, growing YoY by 28.6% in 2018Q4 on back of its affordable Redmi series devices aided by high decibel marketing campaigns and offline expansion with its Mi preferred partner program and the opening of rural stores," the IDC report said.

Launched in November 2017 at prices beginning from 5,999, Redmi 5A has been a runaway hit in the budget smartphone segment. The Redmi Note 5 series, on the other hand, was launched a year ago and has been popular in the 10,000 segment. While the Redmi Note 5 (3GB plus 32GB) comes at a cost of 9,999 you have to shell out 3,000 extra for the Pro version (4GB plus 64GB) with a better camera and superior performance.

IDC estimates that every second smartphone sold in India online is a Xiaomi model. “The brand continued to lead in the online channel with a share of 47.2%, climbing to the second slot in the offline channel by surpassing Vivo in 2018Q4," the IDC report said.

With a 22.4% market share in 2018, Samsung is the second largest player in the smartphone market. “Samsung remained in the second position, however, with a YoY decline of 7.9% in 2018Q4. The newly-launched Galaxy A7 (2018) with triple cameras picked up demand in 2018Q4 followed by its Android Go model, the Galaxy J2 Core," the report said.

Samsung is expected to make a comeback with its new online exclusive "M series" to be made available this month via flash sales.

OnePlus has emerged as the leader in $500-$700 segment on the back of the OnePlus 6 and the newly-launched OnePlus 6T while in the super premium segment of US$700+, Samsung has surpassed Apple for the top position with its Galaxy S9 series, said Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

Almost all the brands which were able to find traction in 2018 via e-tailer partnerships have already started their offline foray to establish themselves for the longterm. “This has become more crucial as the new e-commerce guidelines come into force from 1 February 2019," said Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, IDC India.

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