India smartphone market: Xiaomi retains lead over Samsung in Q1

India smartphone shipments grew 1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report from Strategic Analytics.
Xiaomi China shop
The report said this was the weakest quarter for some time.

China-based smartphone maker Xiaomi held on to the first place in the Indian smartphone market.

Xiaomi with 30 percent share, Samsung with 23 percent, Vivo with 13 percent, Oppo with 8 percent and Realme with 7 percent share took the top positions in the Indian smartphone market.

Xiaomi has reduced its reliance on the online channel, as it builds its offline network of Mi stores. This is backed by regular portfolio refreshes in the entry and mid-price tiers targeting more share.

Realme, which reached the top five smartphone vendor’s list in India for the second consecutive quarters, has achieved gains thanks to its presence in online channels.

Samsung, which recovered from the lows of the previous quarter, maintained its second rank after strengthening its Galaxy A series, which accounted for nearly a third of its total phone shipments in Q1 2019.

Rajeev Nair, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “The Indian smartphone vendors stand marginalized, as they recorded the lowest ever combined volume share of 4 percent in Q1 2019.”

Strategy Analytics forecasts that there will be churn in India in 2019 as the tier 1 and tier 2 Chinese vendors increase their hold in the smartphone market.

Meanwhile, a report from Canalys also confirmed Xiaomi’s lead in Indian smartphone market with 31.4 percent market share, followed by Samsung at 24.4 percent.
India smartphone market share Q1 2019
The most noteworthy change was the growth of Vivo, which stood at third position taking 15 percent of the market, up from 7.3 percent a year ago.

Xiaomi grew 4 percent, while Samsung reported shrink in its market share from the previous year.

As per Canalys report, Indian smartphone market was flat, growing by under 2 percent to 30.1 million units.

Research firm Canalys said Xiaomi with 31.4 percent share, Samsung with 24.4 percent, Vivo with 15 percent, Oppo with 9.3 percent and Realme with 4.2 percent are the leading vendors in the Indian smartphone market.

Vivo posted its best ever performance in India in Q1 2019, shipping more than 4.5 million units, its best result since Q3 2018.

Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys, said: “Vivo has made several shrewd marketing investments, which also include signing internationally popular Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador.”

Rushabh Doshi said Realme, an Oppo spin-off, will struggle in the offline channel in 2019. Realme will need to meet margin expectations, fund retailers to prioritize Realme, and invest in advertisements, banners and brand ambassadors to win in the offline channel.

Chinese phone brands controlled 66 percent of Indian smartphone market in the first quarter, with volumes rising 20 percent on the back of popularity for brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, RealMe and Oppo, according to Counterpoint Research.

Xiaomi’s India shipments fell by 2 percent, followed by Samsung Electronics. Shipment volumes for Vivo jumped 119 percent, while those of Oppo rose 28 percent.

Baburajan K