Xiaomi has caught up with Samsung to become the number one smartphone vendor in the Indian market for Q3, 2017, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). The data from IDC also showed that pre-Diwali sales led to a revival in the India mobile market with smartphone shipments reaching a record high of 39 million units. This was a 40 per cent growth compared to the last quarter of 2017.
According to IDC, this is also the first time India accounted for 10 per cent of the global smartphone shipments in a quarter. Overall, the mobile phone market in India (includes smartphones and feature phones) saw a growth of 30 per cent QoQ with more than 80 million mobiles being shipped in the quarter.
In terms of individual vendors, the competition between Xiaomi and Samsung has intensified. Both are on top with 23.5 per cent market share each. According to IDC, Samsung saw a record breaking quarter with 39 percent sequential growth and 23 percent year-on-year (YOY) growth. Samsung’s Galaxy J2, Galaxy J7 Nxt, and GalaxyJ7 Max were the key models driving nearly 60 per cent of the company’s volume in the market. But Samsung continues to face intense competition from Xiaomi.
Rival Xiaomi, which is also number one in the market and managed to triple shipments year-on-year and doubled its quarterly sales. Redmi Note 4 is still the best selling smartphone in the quarter with Xiaomi shipping over 4 million units of this phone for Q3 alone. In total, Xiaomi claims it had over 9.2 million shipments. IDC also said Xiaomi’s focus on traditional sales methods, aggressive pricing and its online presence have helped it win the market.
With Samsung and Xiaomi now at the number one position, the competition between the two players will only grow in the future. “In the coming few quarters, both Samsung and Xiaomi would need to further strengthen their channel play and significantly differentiate their products on technology and quality to sustain and fight for leadership in this hyper competitive smartphone market,” says Upasana Joshi, Senior Analyst, IDC India in a press statement.
Number three on the list of smartphone vendors was Lenovo (Motorola), which has made a comeback in the market. According to IDC, the Lenovo Motorola brand saw its shipments rise 83 per cent on a quarterly basis. IDC says Motorola now contributes to two-third of Lenovo’s portfolio in India. Lenovo (Motorola)’s market share in India is 9 per cent, according to IDC.
Chinese players vivo and OPPO are at fourth and fifth position respectively with 8.5 and 7.9 per cent market share respectively. IDC notes that vivo saw a decline in shipments, even though it had a 153 per cent annual growth. However, its V7 Plus and Y69 gained strong initial traction in the market helping vivo do well in September. Finally, OPPO saw its shipments rise by 40 per cent sequentially and it also increased its share from the online platform.
In the smartphone segment, the role of e-commerce websites was also what helped boost sales. According to IDC, sales in August and September boosted growth in the category and over 13 million smartphones were billed to e-tailers with 35 per cent annual growth and 73 per cent growth from the previous quarter. Interestingly, Xiaomi also saw sales rise from its website with online channel share rising to 37 per cent for the player.
“eTailers have popularized many trends in the Indian smartphone market, like making devices more affordable through easy financing options, attractive exchange offers on existing smartphones. On the back of fresh infusion of funds and focus on India market, the eTailers are expected to remain aggressive in 2018 as well,” says Jaipal Singh, Senior Analyst, IDC India in a press statement.
The rise of online also meant that the offline channel will face more competition. IDC Analyst Upasana Joshi said, “The offline channels were enjoying good growth in the past few quarters due to high retail spend by China-based vendors to create pull for their brands. But now, when the channel margins and incentives are getting normalised and few other previously online heavy vendors are getting aggressive in offline, the fight for the retail shelf space is expected to further intensify.”