Xiaomi trumps Samsung as top dog of India‘s smartphone market in Q4

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(FinancialPress) — India‘s sizzling smartphone market has a new king of the hill – the world‘s biggest maker for the devices, Samsung (SSNLF), has been dethroned.

New industry figures released this week reveal that China‘s Xiaomi has usurped the throne.

Enjoying a 25% share of the Indian smartphone market in Q4 2017, Counterpoint Research indicates that Xiaomi has beaten out Samsung‘s 23% share in the same domain. A different research firm has the two brands at 27% and 25%, respectively.

South Korean-based Samsung has been a dominant force in India‘s market for over half a decade. However, since Xiaomi initiated operations in the country back in 2014, it started gaining ground soundly and steadily. Combined, the two companies accounted for over 40% of the total volume of smartphones sold in the country. The total tally was 132 million units sold over the year.

Only China is a bigger smartphone market than India globally – with the U.S. standing in third place. It‘s also the major market that‘s experiencing the fastest growth –  with about 900 million citizens not having experienced the Internet just yet. Many of them will do so for the first time on a mobile device.

The same analysts point the low-cost units that Xiaomi offers as a reason for their success – a major factor in a country where a lot of people still earn less than $2,000/year.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, an analyst at Canalys. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers.”

He added that Xiaomi‘s been chipping away at bigger companies‘ market share with phones that cost as low as $240.

Xiaomi‘s sales on Indian soil exploded an astounding 259% over 2017. Through the entire year, however, Samsung still sold more – 24% of total sales vs. Xiaomi‘s 19%.

Despite the latest results, analysts do not expect Samsung to just give way for a new king.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018,” said Canalys‘ Doshi.

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Ruben is a South American writer who focuses on the state of the cryptocurrency, cannabis and tech industries worldwide.

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