Samsung overtakes Xiaomi to retake the smartphone crown in India

Samsung overtakes Xiaomi to retake the smartphone crown in India
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It took Samsung two years to end Xiaomi's winning streak in the India smartphone market, as the South Korean major recaptured the top slot in the third quarter (July-September period) with 24 per cent share, as the Chinese major logged 23 per cent market share, a Counterpoint Research report said on Wednesday.

Riding on multiple strategies -- including effective supply chain and touching various price points through new launches -- Samsung became the leading brand in the India smartphone market with 32 per cent (year-on-year) growth.

Samsung was also the fastest to recover, surpassing the pre-COVID levels in Q3 2020, according to the latest research from Counterpoint's Market Monitor service.

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Samsung's aggressive push in online channels, with highest-ever online contribution within its portfolio, also helped it regain its number one spot, the report noted.

Xiaomi slipped to number two position for the first time since Q3 2018 with 4 per cent YoY decline.

"Manufacturing constraints due to the Covid-19 situation affected its supply chain, leading to a supply-demand gap," the report noted.

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Vivo with 16 per cent market share and Realme with 14 per cent share were third and fourth, respectively.

Overall, India's smartphone shipments grew 9 per cent (YoY) to reach over 53 million units in Q3 2020 e the highest-ever shipment in a quarter.

"In terms of price bands, the mid-tier (Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000) segment registered the highest growth and reached its highest ever share in a quarter," said senior research analyst Prachir Singh.

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In the overall handset market, Samsung was once again the leader with 22 per cent market share, followed by Xiaomi at 14 per cent share.

The report said that with ramped-up manufacturing, strong demand for the Redmi 9 and Note 9 series, aggressive product strategy and growing offline presence, "we believe Xiaomi will come back strongly in the coming quarter".

Vivo grew 4 per cent (YoY) and retained its third position in Q3, driven by strong demand for its Y-series models in offline channels.

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In Q3 2020, it entered the premium market with the X50 series and was the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to launch a gimbal camera that got positive feedback from consumers.

"Though online channels remain in focus, OEMs are also trying to leverage new opportunities in offline channels in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities," said Research Analyst Shilpi Jain.

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In this regard, Xiaomi launched 'Mi store on Wheels', Samsung launched Galaxy M01 Core and vivo announced more retail discounts.

"Additionally, the brands are focusing on affordability by announcing cashbacks, promotions and offers on devices," Jain added.

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