Xiaomi Corp has displaced Samsung as the top smartphone vendor in India, the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market, a new report said on Thursday.
Xiaomi achieved that performance within just three years. Lin Bin, president of Xiaomi, said if overseas markets maintain such strong momentum, the Beijing-based company will sell more smartphones in foreign countries than it does in China in 2020 or 2021.
According to the report by market research company Canalys, Xiaomi delivered nearly 8.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017 in India. Despite annual growth of 17 percent, Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.
Ishan Dutt, an analyst at Canalys, said "Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off."
Its results are commendable, given that it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations, Dutt added.
Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50 percent of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27 percent and second-placed Samsung at 25 percent.
Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Having considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors, Dutt said.
Chinese smartphone vendors are stepping up their push into foreign countries because the market in their home turf has reportedly stopped growing and even started receding in some cases.
Growth in 2018 will be hard to come by. With the market continuing to shrink in China, smartphone vendors, including Xiaomi, must contend with slower growth for their smartphone business as they begin to expand in other countries, said Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecoms industry website Cctime.
Oppo Electronics Corp, the second-largest Chinese smartphone vendor in China, said on Thursday it will soon march into European countries and Japan.