Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has reportedly become the top-selling smartphone brand in the Indian market. This coup came in the quarter that ended in December 2017. Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung which was the market leader in the previous quarter.
According to data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi handsets accounted for 25% of all smartphone sales, up from 9% in the same quarter last year. Samsung ended up with a share of 23% for the quarter marginally down from 24% in the same quarter last year. Singapore based research firm Canalys also reported a similar trend with Xiaomi selling 8.2 million phones against Samsung’s 7.3 million.
“Xiaomi disrupted the status quo with an aggressive priced broader portfolio with effective channel expansion strategy,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, adding that the Chinese phone maker upstaged the market leader Samsung for the first time in a quarter, in six years.
The Chinese smartphone maker also had the top selling device for 2017 in its stable. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 phablet was the highest selling smartphone in India, the report suggests. Xiaomi took three spots on the list, Samsung took four, Vivo two, and Oppo got one position. It’s worth noting that Vivo and Oppo are both owned by the Chinese conglomerate BBK Electronics.
Samsung, however, disputed the data. In a quote to the Economic Times, the company said, “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.”
Overall in 2017, Indian mobile phone shipments crossed 300 Million units for the first time ever. Smartphones captured almost 44% of the total volume, the Counterpoint report states. However, Samsung was the market leader in both the smartphone and feature phone segment.
India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 37% and smartphone shipments grew 12% with feature phones growing at an astonishing 55% during Q4 2017, the report adds.
Jio drives feature phone sales
The sharp growth in feature phone sales is attributed mainly to the launch of the JioPhone, which beat Samsung by a sizeable margin. The JioPhone is Reliance’s 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone, which is being offered at a security deposit fee of ₹1500, which the company says will be refunded if users continuously consume data for those years. The device had a 26% share of the segment of the market that comprises of devices typically under ₹2,000. Samsung followed with 15%, right above Micromax at number three with 9%.
*Graphics: Counterpoint Research