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Xiaomi goes for Samsung's crown in India

Xiaomi Mi 5c high-end Android smartphone
Xiaomi Mi 5c
In just a year, Xiaomi managed to go up from 6 percent to 22.5 percent of the Indian smartphone market. To get there, the Chinese brand expanded at the expense of local brands, but now they are going for Samsung's slice of the pie.

Xiaomi is one of the few surprising Chinese phone brands that never ceases to amaze us. Back in 2014, the Indian market was taken by surprise when Xiaomi managed to sell 40,000 Redmi 1S units in just a bit over 4 seconds. By the end of that year, it already managed to grab a market share of 4 percent in India, and now they are already aiming for the crown.

Looking back, it seems that Xiaomi had a rather boring 2015 in India since nothing special happened. In fact, the Chinese brand broke the 6 percent barrier at the end of 2016. However, this year was explosive for them, and Xiaomi reached a market share of 22.5 percent in the quarter that ended in September. The brand's local shipments tripled for the given period, reaching 9 million units and placing them right behind the leader of the Indian mobile market, namely Samsung.

The main reason for Xiaomi's impressive results in India is the value provided by its handsets. Thanks to devices like the Redmi Note 4, the Chinese brand managed to grab three of the first places in the highest-selling smartphones top for the period between July and September, revealed a study conducted by Counterpoint Research.

In India, Samsung's major issue in the fight with Xiaomi is the lack of any noticeable products in the US$155 to US$235 price range (10,000 to 15,000 Indian rupees). Xiaomi has quite a few strong handsets in this sector of the market, around 45 percent of its local sales coming from it. On the other hand, Samsung chose to focus (a bit too much, it seems) on the sub-US$155 sector, with no less than 13 handsets.

These being said, remains to see if Xiaomi will manage to grab the first spot in India by the end of next year or Samsung will strike back. No matter what will happen, this is one of the most interesting battles in the mobile market that we will be delighted to keep an eye on.


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Codrut Nistor, 2017-12-20 (Update: 2017-12-20)