A woman walks past an advertisement for Samsung smartphones in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Samsung Regains Top Spot From Xiaomi In Indian Smartphone Market

Korean electronics major Samsung has regained the number one spot with 29 percent share in the Indian smartphone market during the April-June 2018 quarter, toppling rival Xiaomi, according to research firm Counterpoint Research.

Samsung had fallen to the second spot in the October-December 2018 quarter, making Xiaomi the top player in the smartphone shipment tally. However, Xiaomi was back at second spot in the April quarter with 28 percent share, Counterpoint data showed.

"Samsung has regained the leading position back after receding it to Xiaomi two quarters ago.

"The success of Samsung during the quarter can be attributed to its refreshed J series as it launched the most number of models as compared to any brand across multiple price points during the quarter," Counterpoint Research Analyst Karn Chauhan said in a statement.

Samsung's strong offline distribution and aggressive marketing campaign around the J series helped the company to gain market and mind share during the quarter, he added.

Xiaomi recorded its highest ever shipments in India during the second quarter with growth being driven by its strong product and supply chain strategy.

“H2 2018 is likely to be a close race between Samsung and Xiaomi especially during the important upcoming festive season,” he noted.

Vivo, Oppo and Honor had 12 percent, 10 percent and 3 percent share of the smartphone shipment, respectively, in the April - June 2018 quarter.

In the premium smartphone segment (phones priced above Rs 30,000), OnePlus led the category for the first time ever, Counterpoint said.

It added that Apple had a slow quarter as it underwent changes in its distribution strategy.

"Apart from this, its domestic assembling is yet to pick up pace, which means the Cupertino giant is still relying on imports for its sales in India. Apple had 1 percent market share during the quarter, its lowest in recent history," Counterpoint said.

The overall smartphone market -- which now contribute to half of the total handset market -- returned to double-digit growth (18 percent) year-on-year after a flat first quarter growth.

"India smartphone market returned to double digit growth during the quarter and is likely to grow in double digits for the entire year. Growth during the quarter was driven by new launches and strong promotions across both online and offline channels during the quarter," Counterpoint Research Analyst Anshika Jain said.

On the other hand, the feature phone market in India continued to outpace the smartphone market with a y-o-y growth of 21 percent. It was led by Reliance Jio (47 percent), followed by Samsung (9 percent), Nokia (8 percent), Itel (6 percent) and Lava (5 percent).