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Xiaomi slips but still retains ‘budget king’ crown in India

Rishabh Pachory

Rishabh Pachory

Often times, Xiaomi phones are regarded as some of the overall best phones in the budget smartphone segment. This is largely because the phones by Xiaomi are cheap, have great software and are paired with powerful, well performing specifications. Now, with Samsung’s A series and M series entering the same market, the feathers have been ruffled. Still, Xiaomi has managed to retain the ‘budget king’ crown in Q1 of 2019, but the company is facing stiff competition from other companies.

Despite losing its turf in India a little, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi retained its top slot in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, garnering 29 per cent market share, Counterpoint Research said on Friday. Xiaomi's India shipments declined by 2 per cent year-on-year(Y-o-Y) as it had recorded 31 per cent market share in the same quarter last year.

South Korean giant Samsung with 23 per cent market share stood second, and Vivo gained much ground to hit the third spot with 12 per cent share. The market share of Chinese brands in the Indian smartphone market reached a record 66 per cent during Q1 2019, according to Counterpoint's "Market Monitor" service. Overall, India's smartphone shipments grew 4 per cent Y-o-Y.

"Data consumption is on the rise and users are upgrading their phones faster as compared to other regions. This has led to users spending more on their purchase which is driving up the overall average selling price (ASP) in the market," explained Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

As a result, the premium specifications are now diffusing faster into the mid-tier price brands. Volumes for the Chinese brands grew 20 per cent YoY, mainly due to the growth of Vivo, Realme and OPPO. Xiaomi's newly-launched Redmi Note 7 series (Note 7 and Note 7 Pro) crossed the one million mark within the first quarter of its launch. Xiaomi's offline contribution was highest in March, while Samsung's A-series shipments surpassed two million units.

"The newly launched online-only M series started well too, but it will need a strong follow-up device to continue its momentum on the online platforms," said Counterpoint. Samsung also recorded a strong sell-in of its premium Galaxy S10 series which drove overall ASP for Samsung.

Huawei's ASP reached the highest-ever level driven by the recently launched HONOR 10 Lite, HONOR View 20 and end of life for its entry-level segment.

"Realme continues to figure among top five brands for the second successive quarter while Vivo's market share reached its highest ever level in India in Q1 2019," the report added.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A remained the top model, following multiple price cuts followed by Xiaomi Note 6 Pro, Redmi Y2, Samsung Galaxy M20, and Galaxy A50.

The top 10 models contributed 35 per cent of overall smartphone shipments. "Xiaomi remains the market leader driven by new product launches. However, it faced strong market competition as compared to a year ago. Samsung did a major refresh in its product portfolio launching a new online-only M series," said Counterpoint's Anshika Jain.