Samsung ends Xiaomi's dream run, wears India smartphone crown in Q3

Ruben Fields
October 31, 2020

"The smartphone sales rose sharply from the previous quarter, with the launch of new flagship models such as the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Z Fold2, as well as stronger sales of mass-market models in key regions including India", the South Korean major informed.

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

Samsung was reportedly the fastest to recover from the COVID-19 dent. In the data for the market share pertaining to the Q3 of 2020, Samsung gained a 24% market share as compared to Xiaomi's 23%, thereby managing to claim the top spot from its rival. Barring Samsung, which is a South Korea-based company, the other brands in the top five list are Chinese companies that have set up manufacturing facilities in India.

According to the latest numbers from market analysis firm Counterpoint Research, Samsung's achieved an impressive 32% year-on-year growth during Q3 2020 to become India's leading smartphone brand.

Among the leading brands in the Indian mobile phones market as per shipments, Samsung had the highest market share at 22%, followed by Xiaomi at 14%, Vivo at 11% and Realme at 10% and Itel at 8%.

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According to Shilpi Jain, another research analyst from Counterpoint, there was some anti-China sentiment at the beginning of Q3 2020, but it soon subsided when consumers started considering different parameters during their purchase, preferring to go with value-for-money and good specs rather than sentiment alone.

"Though online channels remain in focus, OEMs are also trying to leverage new opportunities in offline channels in tier II and III cities". The market has shown consistent growth for the last few months.

Regardless of the differences between the two reports, there is no doubt that both of them suggest a positive growth of the Indian smartphone market. It saw strong demand during the Independence Day period in August as major online platforms hosted massive sales.

September has always been a high sell-in month as brands prepare for the upcoming festive season and push stock in the channels, he added.

The mid-tier ( ₹10,000 to ₹20,000) was the highest growing segment in the September quarter. The feature phone market registered a 5 per cent YoY growth with China's Itel continuing to be the number one brand followed by Samsung and Lava. Due to the pandemic, Indian consumers have ended up saving on leisure activities. "These savings are now being funnelled into smartphone purchases", explains Singh. Additionally, smartphones have become an integral part of consumers' lifestyle in this changing environment, he noted.

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