Xiaomi, a smartphone vendor from China, shipped over 9 million units in India, grabbing 31 percent market share in India in Q1 2018, according to Canalys Research.
31 percent share is the highest ever for a smartphone vendor since Q1 2014, when Samsung had a share of 33 percent in the Indian smartphone market.
Vivo took fourth position with 2.1 million shipments. Smartphone market in India grew at 8 percent to 29.5 million units for the quarter.
“Xiaomi is becoming a force to be reckoned with in India,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.
“Xiaomi’s smartphones are now available in more places and in larger quantities. All in all, Xiaomi’s product and channel strategies are working,” Ishan Dutt said.
The research report said Indian device users have accepted Xiaomi’s Redmi 5, Redmi 5 Plus and Redmi 5A smartphones. Redmi 5A has reached sales of 3.5 million in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung’s best-selling device, the J7 Nxt, shipped 1.5 million units.
Canalys Research Manager Rushabh Doshi said Gionee and Lenovo, two other leading phone brands from China, tried to revise their India smartphone strategies due to the pressure on profitability.
Lenovo’s smartphone shipments were just short of a million units, falling by more than 60 percent year on year.
Gionee shipped an all-time low of 150,000 units with shipments down 90 percent year on year.
“Local production, offline channel expansion, and huge advertising and marketing costs are weighing down the smartphone vendors. India’s inability to move quickly to a high-value market has only hurt them further,” Rushabh Doshi said.
Canalys said the ongoing consolidation is not good for the channel. India’s independent retail channel has always relied on intense competition to negotiate higher margins and marketing funds.
But these funds and margins are vanishing as the competition continues to wane. Adding to this dilemma are online retailers, such as Flipkart and Amazon, which remain committed to increasing their share in the smartphone channel.