Although Xiaomi and Samsung have a close fight each quarter for bragging rights over which brand sells more brand new smartphones, a relatively less-glamorous competition is taking place in the used smartphone segment too. And while the largely unorganized nature of the used smartphone segment makes it hard to track actual volumes, a new study by OLX based on its own platform gives us an indication of what works in the space.
The study by OLX, which is among the leading online portals for listing pre-owned and used products in India, analyzes listings on its own platform. According to the report, roughly 20 percent of used smartphone listings across the country are for Samsung smartphones, which would coincide with the fact that Samsung sells large volumes of devices in the country. However, Samsung has seen a fall in the percentage of its listings, down from over 27 percent a year ago.
In comparison, Xiaomi has seen a rise from 12.8 percent to 17.6 percent over the course of the year, suggesting that more people are not only buying Xiaomi phones, but also looking to move on from them as they upgrade or replace their devices.
Also holding a strong position among listings on OLX is Apple, which has traditionally been popular in the used smartphone segment because of the longer usable life of its devices and the aspirational value of owning its phones. Given that brand new Apple smartphones are expensive, many buyers look to the used smartphone space to be able to get Apple devices within their budget.
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Xiaomi’s competitive prices and focus on the entry-level and mid-range markets makes it a similarly aspirational product for first-time smartphone buyers, or even those looking to upgrade after using a previous device for a long period. Xiaomi smartphones are well priced even at brand-new device prices, so the cost benefit of buying a used device is straightforward. This has helped raise Xiaomi to its current position, and in the coming months it could well topple typical leader Samsung in this space as well.