There has been a change in leadership in the smartphone market in India Xiaomi is now on top with a 27% share. This means it toppled Samsung, which shipped 25% of smartphones in India during the final quarter of 2017.
In concrete numbers, Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million units while Samsung managed 7.3 million. That represents a solid 17% year on year growth for Samsung, but it wasnt enough (the market in general grew 6%).
Canalys attributes Xiaomis success to the autonomy of its Indian branch, which determines its own strategy, marketing and product lineup. 2018 wont be smooth sailing as analysts believe that Xiaomi phones are near the saturation point in India while their share in China is shrinking. Still, the company is quite successful in these two countries, which represent the two biggest smartphone markets.
As for Samsung, it lost share in the critical market of phones costing INR 15,000 or less ($240/190) and that cost it its leading position. Consumer demand for entry-level Galaxy phones was weak, but Samsung is expected to flex its R&D and supply chain muscles to revamp its lineup.
While Xiaomi and Samsung control over half the market in India, the Top 5 also includes Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo.