Reliance Jio to win exclusive Xiaomi product distribution rights in India

Xiaomi beats Samsung to become India's top smartphone maker with 27% market share: Canalys

Xiaomi has replaced Samsung as the top smartphone manufacturer in India, ending years-long streak, as the Chinese handset maker grows more aggressive and expands its presence in the country, market and research firms Canalys and Counterpoint said on Wednesday.

According to data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi handsets accounted for 25% of all smartphone sales, up from 9% in the same quarter past year.

Commenting on the report, Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, said, "We are extremely pleased that we have been able to retain our position as the No 1 smartphone brand in the Indian market (including both online and offline markets) according to reports from Canalys and Counterpoint".

Samsung's six-year era in India comes to an end. Reports by analytic firms Canalys and Counterpoint Research have confirmed that the Chinese company now leads the Indian market. "The key reason for Xiaomi's success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localisation in channel strategy, marketing and products have been evident in Xiaomi's Indian operations", he further added. Since then, market analysts have been predicting that Xiaomi will pip Samsung in the coming months. Smartphone growth over the year might have been a bit slow at 6%, but the general economic factors of the country make it a very attractive proposition.

Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said Samsung's loss comes from its inability to transform its low-priced product portfolio.

"The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the past year, with the rise of brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, VIVO in the smartphone segment and players such as Reliance Jio, Nokia HMD and iTel in the feature phone segment - all able to disrupt the market with high-quality and attractively-priced offerings". Despite annual growth of 17%, Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place. Overall, Samsung shipped more smartphones than Xiaomi did in India during the entire year of 2017, Counterpoint said.

As per GfK data, which is based on actual sales, Samsung's volume market share in the October-December 2014 quarter was 34.3%. It has also lagged behind Reliance Jio in the feature-phone segment. Together they account for over half of all smartphones sales in India, which is quite something. The company has gradually taken over Samsung's market and becomes the top India smartphone giant.

This is certainly a positive result for the business, not only beating one of the global superpowers of the smartphone world, but beating it in one of the world's most lucrative market.

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