First they came for Japan, then they came for the US
A few days ago, we did a report on a study by analytics firm GfK that pointed towards the growth of the smartphone market in Emerging Asia—a geographical demographic that includes countries like India, Malaysia, and Indonesia—and a slight decline in the North American one. This time out, a new report by Canalys has provided data that validates the former, with numbers showing India's rise to cementing its place as the second largest smartphone market in the world.
The Indian market has seen significant growth over the past five or six years, so this was inevitable for the most part. It's more incredible that the US managed to hold on to its position for this long, as there's a not-so-significant difference of close to a billion between the populations of both countries.
On the business side of things, the battle for dominance in the Indian market is almost exclusively between Samsung and Xiaomi, with 45.6% of the total market share split almost evenly between the two companies. In Q3 alone. Samsung recorded 9.4 million shipments, while Xiaomi came close with 9.2 million, an amazing 290% year-on-year growth from 2016. Samsung has a firm grip on the mid-range segment, with OPPO and Vivo providing a modicum of competition. Xiaomi are undisputed kings of the budget market, however, and we expect the upcoming releases of the next generation of Redmi devices to catapult the MIUI-makers to the top of the Indian market. There's also the news of the teased camera-centric mid-range Xiaomi series for the Indian market, which is an indication of Xiaomi's ambition to cement its dominance.
The Indian market has grown in leaps and bounds, and there's no doubt that ambitious manufacturers have to start taking it seriously, especially since there's still massive room for growth. Xiaomi's rise is in no small part due to its efforts in the Indian market and we expect the company to sit at the round table alongside monoliths like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei within the next few years.