Samsung becomes top smartphone seller in India amid anti-China sentiments

Samsung Galaxy S20 PlusRounak Jain / Business Insider India
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Samsung took the top spot in the global smartphone market in August driven by sales growth in India as the market recovered from a nationwide lockdown, a Counterpoint Research report said on Friday.

The South Korean tech giant also recaptured the top spot in India in July-August period, according to Counterpoint's latest Monthly Market Pulse report.

Samsung has now reached its highest market share in India since 2018 by adopting an aggressive online channel strategy to benefit from opportunities arising due to anti-China sentiments in the country, said the report.

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"Geopolitical policies and political affairs among nations are affecting the smartphone market in many ways. There will be heightened marketing activity to seize opportunities in these regions and segments," Research Analyst Minsoo Kang said in a statement.

"As a result, the concentration of top players in the smartphone market will be much stronger. We see players like Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and OPPO benefiting the most."

However, even as Samsung snatched the top spot in the India market dominated by Xiaomi for long, the Chinese smartphone maker is showing a significant increase in its market share globally, especially in markets where Huawei used to have strong presence, such as Central Eastern Europe.

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In the global smartphone market, Samsung captured 22 per cent share.

In April, Samsung lost the top spot to Huawei due to sharp declines in its major markets of India and Europe.

After achieving its highest global share of 21 per cent in April, Huawei became No. 2 in the market with 16 per cent share in August.

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Huawei's market share is expected to fall further in the future due to US trade sanctions, said the report.

Apple has managed to maintain its share well in the off-season period. With the October 13 launch of the new iPhone 12 series, Apple's sales are expected to rise but only in November as the launch is later than previous years.

The long lifecycle of iPhone 11 series and successful new iPhone SE will help Apple bridge the gap till then, Counterpoint said.

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