As the Chinese smartphone players are pacing up to capture a major share of the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi with its affordable pricing strategy ranked the second largest brand in the country. According to a report from the Singapore-based agency Canalys, Xiaomi’s market share increased by 3 percent and currently accounted 14 percent of shipment in India in the first quarter this year.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, however, could not surpass Samsung as the South Korean tech giant captured 22 percent market share in Q1, 2017. Samsung managed to ship 6 million units in the January-March quarter while Xiaomi shipped 3.8 million units in the first quarter, a 0.8 percent increase from 3 million units shipment in the previous quarter. As per the report, the sustained sales of the Galaxy J-series in the established offline retail sector have helped Samsung to grab the first slot in January-March, 2017 quarter.
“Xiaomi’s success in India is underscored by its online go-to-market strategy. Demonetization seems to have had no impact on it, as its target customer is young, Internet-enabled and primarily buys online,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.
Another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Vivo was able to bag the third best smartphone brand in the first quarter, 2017. The company that primarily emphasizes on selfie-centric smartphones was able to 10 percent of total shipments this quarter. with 2.9 million units shipped in the quarter, Vivo registered 36 percent growth in sequential shipments.
“Vivo was just shy of shipping 3 million smartphones in the quarter. Its strategy to focus on the highly fragmented ‘unorganized’ retail market is paying off. Its ability to drive sales by investing in marketing campaigns has seen it displace local vendors that once thrived in this space,” said Mo Jia, Research Analyst. The agency noted that the top three players now have markedly different channel strategies.
Interestingly, Lenovo surmounting other dominant smartphone players moved up a place to fourth rank with 2.6 million unit shipped during the first quarter. Oppo meanwhile fell down to fifth position with 2.5 million units shipped. Canalys in a note cited that the Indian smartphone market is poised to grow further, but online only players are likely to suffer due to new regulations and GST reforms. “We will see a change in vendors’ channel strategies as new distribution models become more cost-effective. Pure online players are likely to suffer, and those that react quickly to the new regulations will benefit,” Dutt said.
India’s smartphone market grew 12% year on year in the first quarter of 2017, with over 27 million units shipped, but no new names entered the top five, the Canalys report stated.