Figures from two technology market research firms published on January 25 show that Xiaomi overtook Samsung as India’s largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2017. Previously, Samsung was the largest smartphone maker in India for six years in terms of sales volume.
Tarun Pathak from Counterpoint Research said an aggressive pricing model and market expansion strategy helped Xiaomi win the world’s second largest smartphone market.
Xiaomi is planning a public listing, which an estimated valuation of $100 billion. Xiaomi entered the Indian market three years ago.
Xiaomi’s sales in India at present mainly depend on flash sales through the Indian e-commerce site Flipkart and Amazon’s website in India. This has helped Xiaomi to gain market share without having to spend a lot on marketing.
Xiaomi shipped 25 percent of India’s smartphones in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Counterpoint, followed by Samsung at 23 percent and Lenovo, OPPO and Vivo, whose market shares were each about 6 percent.
But Counterpoint still lists Samsung as the top seller because Samsung was far ahead of Xiaomi in the first half of 2017.
In addition, Canalys, another market-research firm, said Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, surpassing Samsung’s 7.3 million units.
“Multiple factors contribute to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key is the autonomy that Indian branch enjoys, which enables Xiaomi’s Indian company to carry out local business,” analyst Ishan Dutt said.
Canalys estimates Xiaomi’s smartphone market share in the fourth quarter was 27 percent, while Samsung’s was 25 percent. “Samsung’s losses stemmed from its inability to change its low-priced portfolio,” Dutt said. Rushabh Doshi, an analyst at Canalys, said Samsung has been unable to win the favor of cost-conscious consumers and has been losing market share to Xiaomi in the market less than 15,000 rupees ($235).
Samsung said in a statement that it had led the smartphone market in India from September to November 2015, according to market research firm GfK.