Samsung has been displaced by Xiaomi from the top of the Indian smartphone market, as per a January 24, 2018 report by independent tech analyst Canalys. Having gradually depleted Samsung’s lead over the past eight financial quarters or so, Xiaomi now holds 27% of the market while Samsung follows closely at 25%.
The Chinese gadget-maker reportedly sold nearly 8.2 million units in the final quarter of 2017-18, while the South-Korean giant managed to ship just over 7.3 million units. This, despite Samsung having registered a 17% growth this year.
According to Canalys, Samsung has fallen behind in its low-cost product portfolio in the sub-₹15,000 segment. At the same time, Xiaomi’s growth in India was thought to be boosted by its strategy of localising autonomy in its Indian operations with respect to marketing.
While noting that “consumer demand for Samsung’s devices has been weak”, analyst Rushabh Doshi maintained that “it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business”.
Xiaomi’s formula will no doubt be emulated by Samsung, as well as other top-share manufacturers Lenovo, Vivo and Oppo in the coming days, and “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”.