Xiaomi and Samsung: The indisputable kings of smartphones in India

Xiaomi, India’s biggest smartphone seller broke the record with ease. It entered at a very critical time in India. Its entry was coupled with the 4G revolution and the whole country was going through demonetization. This marked the exit of Micromax from the sub-10,000 market and we saw the rise of the Chinese companies in India. Chinese companies were often seen as cheap and low-quality phones but Xiaomi along with Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus have managed to tarnish that image altogether.

The Xiaomi phones are now looked at the quality for low prices. This is how the company works and they have their own strategy to cut down on prices. They work on their strategies, improving and doing things their own way. The company is trying to do what they do best and have succeeded. It surpassed Samsung in 2018 and are looking strong at the start of 2019. The Chinese phone-maker is yet to have a major release in 2019 and is lining up Note 7 pro. Apparently, people are waiting for it.

Samsung, on the other hand, has its own strategy. One thing is pretty sure that Samsung is not the one to back down and is lining up a series of phones that is going to take India by storm. The Korean company is looking at the launch of Galaxy S10 and many versions of it in a week’s time but it has different strategies to tackle the Xiaomi in India.

Samsung had apparently left the budget market space in India. It was concentrating on premium phones and in that space, Xiaomi took over the Indian market with its range of budget phones. However, the Korean company entered the budget phone market with M series which is doing well as of now. The two phones are doing well as of now but it is too early to judge. That said, the company is coming out with multiple A series of phones in India. It has quoted a market sell target of $4 billion from A series. The phone prices will range from INR 10,000 – INR 50,000.

That said, the two companies are indisputable champions in India. Although Xiaomi holds the number one position with 28.9% of market share and Samsung comes in second with 22.4% of market share. The numbers are provided by IDC (International Data Corporation). These two companies have a market share of more than 50% in India. They are the winners in India with Oppo, Vivo, and Transsion are the next three companies.

Four out of five companies in the top five are Chinese. This tells us how influenced the smartphone market in India is by the Chinese companies. That said, this is good for competition but Xiaomi has worked extremely well to get where they are. It will be a huge challenge for Samsung to win their crown back but they have a huge advantage right now. The advantage lies in offline stores. The company has about 160,000 offline partners with 2,000 dedicated stores. And given that the new FDI policy has taken effect, Samsung will look to exploit its reach in India.

-Unmesh Phule

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