Xiaomi clearly leads the Indian market ahead of Samsung

A new study confirms the trend in India: Xiaomi has taken the lead in the local smartphone market. The Chinese brand confirms its leading position and increases the distance that separates it from Samsung, now second.

For several months, Samsung has denied studies that claimed that the Korean firm was no longer the leader in India in the fourth quarter of 2017. These studies stated that Xiaomi had sold more mobile than Samsung in this great country (the second global volume market, ahead of the United States ) over this period. It is true that the reports of the time suggested that the gap between Xiaomi and Samsung was very small. And since these studies are usually based on extrapolations made on a sample (and not an exhaustive review), the calculation could quickly favor one or the other. Hence a certain uncertainty.

A wide advance

For the first quarter of 2018, there is no picture: Samsung is well behind Xiaomi. Canalys has indeed released this week a new report estimating the market share of the Chinese brand at 31%, against 27% three months in the previous quarter, while that of Samsung would be 25%, with no change of quarter over the other. The volume of terminals sold by Xiaomi would be greater than 9 million units, for an annual growth of 155%, against 7.5 million for Samsung.

More than a third of the volume (3.5 million units) was made by the only Redmi 5A. For comparison, Samsung's best-selling quarter, the Galaxy J7 Nxt, sold 1.5 million copies. Less than half. Yet Samsung does not demerit: Canalys notes that the Korean firm has achieved an annual increase of 24%. Not everyone can say that. But that's not enough in the face of Xiaomi's impressive growth.

Oppo and Vivo, still there

Behind them are Oppo and Vivo, respectively third, with 2.8 million copies sold, and fourth, with 2.1 million units distributed. The Indian market has achieved an overall annual increase of 8% to reach 29.5 million phones sold in three months. Canalys notes that this market is growing, of course, but it is also in strong consolidation: the first four brands make about 75% of sales.

Behind, the other brands are suffering. Two examples: Lenovo sees its sales volume fall 60% and fall below the one million marks, while Gionee, previously a flagship in India, has sold only 150,000 smartphones over three months, 10 times less than in the first quarter of 2017. According to Canalys, this consolidation will not only affect brands, but also physical brands that will have difficulty negotiating prices. Especially since online distributors, like Amazon and Flipkart, are getting more and more exclusives. The year 2018 would be a pivotal year for offline networks.