Extending its lead over Samsung, Xiaomi has once again topped the Indian smartphone market in Q3 2018, with a market share of 29.8 percent according to research firm Canalys. The Chinese smartphone maker shipped 12.1 million smartphones in the quarter, nearly three million more than second-placed Samsung, representing an annual growth of 31.5 percent. While Samsung led the Indian smartphone market with a small lead over Xiaomi in the same quarter last year, the change in fortunes shows how well customers have taken to Xiaomi’s online-first approach.
The Canalys report further states that the total smartphone shipments in India have shrunk a little bit, compared to the same quarter in 2017. While 40.8 million units were shipped in Q3 2017, this quarter sees 40.4 million units being shipped. And while Xiaomi and Vivo see growth, the combined shipments of all brands outside the top five have fallen sharply.
As phones get better, and more customers are getting onto connected devices, the tendency to buy premium phones is also increasing. This has led to growth in the premium segment, which has largely benefited brands such as OnePlus, Samsung and Apple. However, budget devices still hold strong, and brands such as Realme have had a huge impact in just a few months.
WATCH: JioPhone First Look
The easy availability of affordable mobile data, triggered by the competitive pricing of Jio and other operators, has made owning and using a smartphone much easier. However, a large chunk of the market still uses feature phones such as the JioPhone, which are available for much less than the typical starting prices of smartphones. The JioPhone’s starting price of Rs 1,500 has made it an attractive option for consumers, especially given the free and unlimited voice calling benefits and basic data-based services on offer.