Counterpoint: Xiaomi becomes India's top smartphone maker, beats Samsung

Peter, 28 January 2019

There were 330 million phones shipped in India last year, 44% of which were smartphones. Xiaomi is now the undisputed leader with a 28% market share in the smartphone segment, having a 4 percentage point lead on Samsung (and it was 5 points in the final quarter).

That represents a sizable increase in market share since 2017 while the company’s key opponents – Samsung, vivo and Oppo – were stuck in place.

Xiaomi recorded its highest shipment numbers in India ever and expanded its offline presence in the country. That said, online smartphone shipments accounted for a record 36% thanks to Flipkart and Amazon.

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world (after China) with 430 million smartphone users. However, that’s not quite half of the potential market – there’s a lot of room for growth.

Don't count featurephones out yet, their growth outpaced the smartphone growth, going up 11% and 10%, respectively, year over year. This is the first time this has happened in quite a while.

Jio is king of that with 38% of the market while Samsung’s slumped significantly. Jio is the overall market leader (in featurephones and smartphones combined). HMD’s Nokias posted a small growth.

All of this is based on data from Counterpoint Research, which is quick to reassure that the numbers do not necessarily mean there’s no room for competition. It points to Realme, which entered the Top 5 in its third quarter of operation (and it knocked out parent Oppo). It reached 4 million users faster than any brand before it.

Realme should watch its back, though, the fastest growing brand (proportionally) was Tecno, which is up 221% in 2018 thanks to expanded offline presence. It’s followed by Honor (183%), Infinix (146%) and HMD (138%).

OnePlus grew 58% year over year, the fastest-growing premium smartphone brand. The Indian market in general is shifting towards more expensive phones – the INR 20-30,000 segment grew the fastest, compared to 2017 when the INR 10-15,000 segment saw the largest growth.



Reader comments

As if the worst class xiaomi has released a feature phone !!!

Zero ads in my Xiaomi. "Promoted apps" is set to off. Just as an example. Only normal ads in some free apps, which is unrelated to MIUI.

Xiaomi can release and THRIVE on releasing a $300 "true" flagship and only earning barely $15 in profit. Everyone else can't.

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