Xiaomi has taken Samsung’s place at the top of the Indian smartphone market after seeing its Q4 2017 shipments top 8.2 million devices.
Samsung shipped 7.3 million units in the same quarter, a year-on-year increase of 17% that was still not enough for it to retain the top spot. Combined, Xiaomi and Samsung hold more than 50% of the market, with respective shares of 27% and 25%. The remaining places in the top five were claimed by Viva, Oppo and Lenovo.
Ishan Dutt, a research firm at Canalys, noted that Xiaomi had achieved dominance in the market after just three years due to its persistence, saying: “Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally.”
Canalys described India’s year-on-year smartphone growth for the quarter as being a “modest” 6% overall, with just under 30 million units sold. The diminished sales were attributed to a seasonal lull following an active Q3.
Samsung’s “inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio” caused it to lose out on the top spot, according to Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi. The South Korean vendor lost major ground to Xiaomi in the sub-INR15,000 ($236) segment.
“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in [the] minds of Indian consumers,” said Doshi.