Xiaomi closes in on Samsung in India smartphone market in Q1 2017

Smartphone user in FranceIndia smartphone shipments grew 12 percent to over 27 million in the first quarter of 2017, said research firm Canalys.

Samsung is continuing as the top Indian smartphone brand. Xiaomi is in the second position and Vivo took third place in the Indian smartphone market. Lenovo moved up a place to the fourth, while Oppo fell back to fifth.

Top smartphone makers such as Samsung, Xiaomi and Vivo have different channel strategies in India.

Samsung maintained its market share, shipping just over 6 million units. Shipment of J-series supported by offline distribution partners ensured Samsung its dominant position.

Research agency IDC today said Samsung has regained its top position from Apple in the global smartphone market in Q1 2017.

Xiaomi has 14 percent share in the first quarter against 3 percent a year ago. Xiaomi, the Chinese phone brand, shipped 4 million units.

“Xiaomi’s success in India is underscored by its online market strategy. Demonetization seems to have had no impact on it, as its target customer is young, Internet-enabled and primarily buys online,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.

Vivo has 10 percent market share – registering 36 percent growth sequentially. Vivo shipped nearly 3 million smart phones in the quarter. Its strategy to focus on the highly fragmented unorganized retail market is paying off.

“Vivo’s ability to drive sales by investing in marketing campaigns has seen it displace local vendors that once thrived in this space,” said Mo Jia, Research Analyst at Canalys.

Indian smartphone vendors are Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, among others. Reliance Jio, which supplied 4G smartphones, did not find a place in the top 5 position.

The Indian smartphone market is set for upheaval as the government looks to phase in its Goods and Services Tax in the coming quarters. “We will see a change in vendors’ channel strategies as new distribution models become more cost-effective,” said Dutt. “Pure online players are likely to suffer, and those that react quickly to the new regulations will benefit.”