Xiaomi Beats Samsung in India


Jan. 26, 2018 – The Indian market is now dominated by Chinese brands. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, in just 4 years Xiaomi has managed to overcome Samsung by conquering 27% of the Indian smartphone market. The Beijing-based company shipped 8.2 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2017, outstripping its South Korean rival’s 7.3 million units.

Furthermore the success in the Indian market is not just about Xiaomi, even brands such as Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo have established themselves as among the top five in the Indian market.

The reasons for this success are explained by Xiaomi’s aggressive economic policies: a broadly priced portfolio with an effective channel expansion strategy. Xiaomi has identified India as its next growth engine as it faces increasingly stiff competition in its home markets and, according to Ishan Dutt, a Canalys research analyst, Xiaomi is succeeding in its purpose.

Ishan Dutt said the key reason for its success lies in the autonomy it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. “Localisation in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations” said Dutt.

On the other hand, Jingwen Wang, Shanghai-based Canalys research analyst, said that “This is a phenomenal achievement for Xiaomi”

“Undoubtedly this was helped by an anticipated, temporarily under-strength Samsung performance during the quarter. But that is only half the story – Xiaomi has also executed on its strategy to grow volume shipments. It has delivered compelling products at aggressive price points” said Jingwen.

According to the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, India has emerged as the top priority for electronics and software, and the company has adopted an “India No 1” strategy, which includes design, research and development, manufacturing and supply.

Regarding Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo, the Canalys report said that they rounded out the top five in the sales league table for the last quarter, each enjoying a 6 per cent share. The Chinese mobile market is therefore increasingly present in India and has upset the status quo of the various competitors.

According to Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint: “During the second half, players such as Xiaomi disrupted the status quo with an aggressive, broadly priced portfolio with effective channel expansion strategy. This helped Xiaomi to surpass the long-reigning market leader Samsung for the first time ever”. If Samsung wants to remain present in the Indian market, it will certainly have to review its policies.


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