Chinese handset maker Xiaomi and Korea's Samsung shipped about 10 million units each in the April-June 2018 quarter, and cumulatively accounted for 60 per cent share of India's smartphone market, research firm Canalys said on Thursday.
Overall, smartphone shipments grew by 22 per cent in the said quarter to just under 33 million units. Together, the two companies now account for 60 per cent of total shipments in India, up from 43 per cent a year ago, Canalys said in a statement.
"Xiaomi more than doubled its shipments, albeit from a modest base, just putting it in first place. Samsung's annual growth rate, at nearly 50 per cent, was the best it has been since Q4 2015, leaving it hair's breadth behind Xiaomi in second place," it added.
Vivo took third place, while Oppo came fourth, with shipments of 3.6 million and 3.1 million, respectively.
Samsung is hitting back. It has launched devices pitted directly against Xiaomi's portfolio and is focusing on its cameras and imaging capabilities...," Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen said. Canalys pointed that Apple's iPhone shipments to India fell by about 50 per cent in June 2018 quarter.
"But Apple's paring back of distributor partners and move to a brand-first, volume-next' strategy will reap rewards as it will ensure better margin per device," it said.
Canalys noted that despite ongoing consolidation at the top, smaller vendors are not giving up and "continue to rewrite their business strategies with a view to long-term sustainability and profitability".
It cited the example of Asus, which has recently restructured its India strategy. Oppo has launched an online-only brand, Realme. Volume is not the only strategy in India...The climate is right for businesses to realign and re-enter the market," Canalys Research Manager Rushabh Doshi said. Getting priorities right will be important to smartphone vendors, and it will be a choice between profitability and volume growth, Doshi said.