Counterpoint Research has published smartphone and feature phone shipment numbers for India for Q4 and the whole of 2018, and none of them look pretty for Samsung. Like in many other reports before, Xiaomi is ahead of Samsung in smartphone shipments, while Reliance Jio leads in feature phone shipments in the country. Samsung was the market leader in both these categories not very long ago, but all that changed in the last few quarters.
According to the latest data, overall mobile phone shipments in the country grew at a healthy 11% to reach more than 330 Million units last year. Smartphones shipments registered a 10% growth, making India, according to Counterpoint Research, the fastest growing smartphone market in the world last year.
Xiaomi beat Samsung both in Q4 2018 and the whole of last year to emerge as the largest smartphone vendor in the country. The Chinese OEM captured 27% of the market share, up from 25% in Q4 2017, and topped the charts, while Samsung came in second with 22% market share, down from 23% it registered a year before. Vivo occupied the third place with 9% market share, followed by the new player Realme who made it to the top five for the first time with 8% market share.
For the full year, Xiaomi’s market share saw a substantial increase from 19% in 2017 to 28% in 2018, whereas Samsung’s market share remained stable at 24%. The numbers show that while Samsung is able to hold on to its market, the company has been unsuccessful in expanding its share in a growing smartphone market. Vivo, Oppo, and Micromax occupied the next three spots, respectively, without any noteworthy change in their market shares.
Apart from market share, Samsung also has a lot to worry about with OnePlus growing at 58% YoY and emerging as the fastest growing premium smartphone brand. OnePlus eating into Samsung’s flagship sales is bound to have ramifications on the Korean company’s already-strained smartphone profits. Overall, it was a great year for Chinese OEMs with their combined market share going up from 54% in 2017 to 60% in 2018.
Jio ahead of Samsung in feature phone sales
On the feature phone front, as expected, telecom carrier Jio continues to lead the market with its vastly discounted offerings. In Q4 2018, Jio accounted for 38% of the total feature shipments in the country, up from 26% in Q4 2017. Samsung’s market share, on the other hand, dropped slightly from 15% to 14% during the same period but was still enough to make it the second largest feature phone vendor in India.
Jio also increased its yearly market share from 11% in 2017 to 38% in 2018 to firmly cement its place as the market leader in the category. At the same time, Samsung’s feature shipments dropped significantly from 21% to 12%, pushing the company to the second place. This helped Jio to emerge as the overall market leader with 21% of the total mobile phone shipments.