Xiaomi to overtake Samsung in India: Canalys

India smartphone market Q3 2017Canalys Analyst Rushabh Doshi predicts that Xiaomi with its go-to-market innovations will overtake Samsung in the Indian smartphone market within a couple of quarters.

Second-placed Xiaomi, a device brand from China, increased its smartphone shipments by over 290 percent to 9.2 million units in the third quarter of 2017 despite challenging business conditions in India.

Korea’s Samsung, the number one smartphone brand in India, shipped 9.4 million smartphones, almost 30 percent more than in Q3 last year. Samsung earlier lost share due to lack of innovation.

“Xiaomi’s growth is a clear example of how a successful online brand can effectively enter the offline market while maintaining low overheads,” said Canalys Analyst Rushabh Doshi.

Samsung and Xiaomi accounted for almost half of the total market as the top five tech vendors continued to post strong growth in Q3 2017.

Xiaomi focuses on the low end of the smartphone market. However, Xiaomi struggles in the mid-range, where devices are priced between INR 15,000 and INR 20,000 or $230 and $310. In the mid-range phone market, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo are particularly strong.

India smartphone market

India’s smartphone market shipments grew 23 percent in Q3 2017 to over 40 million units. India has now overtaken the United States to become the world’s second largest smartphone market after China.

“This growth comes as a relief to the smartphone industry. Doubts about India’s market potential are clearly dispelled by this result,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.

There are close to 100 mobile brands sold in India, with more vendors arriving every quarter. India has one of the most complex channel landscapes, but with low barriers to entry. Low smartphone penetration and the explosion of LTE are the main drivers for the growth in smartphone market in the country.

The top five vendors such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo are accounting for 75 percent of total shipments in India. Apple, Huawei, Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, among others are not able to rival the top 5 brands.

Apple began local production in India earlier this year, and its iPhone shipments more than doubled to 900,000 units in Q3 2017.