Apple overtakes Xiaomi in India, but Samsung remains top

by: Gary SimsMarch 3, 2016

samsung logo mwc 2015 6According to new data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for Q4 2015, Apple shipped more units in India than Xiaomi, meaning it took the sixth spot from the Chinese OEM. However Samsung still remains the top vendor with a near 30% share of the market followed by Micromax which has 14.7% of the market.

The data comes from IDC’s monthly city level smartphone tracker of the leading 30 cities in India. The IDC says that these 30 population centers made up over 50% of the entire smartphone market for Q4 2015. Which isn’t too surprising since India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world, behind China. In total, there are now some 220 million active smartphone users in India, more than in the USA.


Of those 30 cities, the top 5 (including New Delhi and Mumbai) account for 60% of the online smartphone sales in India, where also 4G coverage is better and hence 4G handset sales are larger. Global vendors like Samsung and Apple account for more than 40% of the market in top cities.

Although India is often seen as a lower-income country, Apple took the 6th slot overall and headed the premium price segment of $300 and above. At the high-end, Apple has an over 42% market share. Analysts say this is due to the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and subsequent price drops of its iPhone 5s and iPhone 6.

“Apple leads in top 30 cities in the premium segment, and in tier-2 and 3 cities, it has considerably narrowed the gap with the competition,” said Navkendar Singh, senior research manager at IDC India.


Although Xiaomi dropped from 6th to 7th place, the company has big plans to grow outside of its native China. Today Xiaomi launched an updated Redmi Note 3 in India, the new version ditches the MediaTek processor in favor of a more powerful Snapdragon 650, a hexa-core design with two ARM Cortex-A72 processor cores and four Cortex-A53 cores.

Apple and Samsung aren’t the only international vendors in the top 10. Lenovo (including Motorola) has the 3rd spot overall, with a 10.1% market share. The company has emerged as a leading value-for-money brand in India with phones like the K3 Note, Vibe P1M and Moto G. According to IDC, Chinese vendors like Lenovo, and Xiaomi are gaining market share in what are called the Tier 2 & 3 cities of India due to their superior positioning as quality brands, with a good value for money proposition.


  • saksham

    surprised that xiaomi has such low market share people are always bragging to me about how ‘good’ their phones are

    • ‘Moan’ supplies a different meaning. Moto-E is available at ₹6K

      • saksham

        dumass im talking about 3 years ago

        • Idiot themselves find others idiot

          • saksham

            i now get what u meant by that moan statement :D

            ur pathetic

    • Imran Shaikh

      Micromax is still cheaper than Xiaomi. Also Xiaomi is still mostly sold online and not brick and mortar stores like micromax.

    • Karly Johnston

      Not suprising considering the MTK ban and the Mi4i debacle. With Redmi 3 and Note 3 Pro at great prices you will see that all change.

  • Abhijeet

    So many iPhones! What were those hippies crying about after the budget? This justifies the higher taxation. People clearly have way too much money than what they report.

    • raffr

      Maybe, or they do like my colleagues do when they come to the USA; head straight to the apple store. iphones and ipads are the big sellers. they are significantly cheaper to buy here than India.

      • Abhijeet

        That’s true. I know someone who got a HTC One M9 at 20K INR from US (sprint, locked) when it was around 45K in India.

    • PrasadV

      So… you decided these same people who bought iPhones are crying after the budget…?
      wow you blind bhakts really needed some relief… take it… shameless to even link this to our budget… middle class people are not buying iPhones… observe your surroundings… also Apple made their old gen phones available in India and decreased their prices… remember once iPhones use to start at 27K+ (even old gen) but now you can buy iPhones for 8K also…

  • Diego

    I don’t expect samsung to remain at the top for long.
    Companies like Huawei are dominating the mid range market and soon the low end market.
    Motorola is out of the race since lenovo is running it into the ground.

  • Shaunak Basu

    I am not all surprised considering that it is considered hip to own an iPhone in India, so what if people with minimum sense can’t feel weird about pricing of their products. Honestly what is it that iPhone can do what a mid range Android device can’t do? Basically it is a status symbol, just like BB used to be. Hmmm, now comes the question what is BlackBerry in present context???

    • PrasadV

      Every single feature that you are using today are mostly inspired from iOS and iPhone… retina display, fingerprint scanner, amazing cameras, App store, security and many more… yes you may not need iPhone for you but world needs it and these copycats need it for their future phones..

      remember iPhone 4/4s they set the standard for display and cameras on mobiles…
      remember iPhone 5/5s they set standard for build quality and fingerprint scanners…
      I also prefer Android but that does not mean iPhone is nothing… it is the inspiration for many OEMs including Samsung.

      • saksham

        downvote .. 80% of your said statements are wrong
        moto atrix was the first with fingerprint sensor and that kind of inspired apple
        samsung phones from the galaxy s3 are known to have the best display , camera and processor WHICH set the standard
        build quality on the iphones was inspired by htc which used an all metal body
        retina displays are nothing compared to amoled which samsung has been using since 2012 or 2013
        yes u are correct that the app store and security were developed more by apple and apple is an inspiration for other companies but please dont write things u dont know about

        • PrasadV

          Moto atrix? seriously? did it work? was it supported or backed up by Moto? use brain… first does not mean anything if it did not work… now everyone follows the same way like Apple’s TouchID (360 degree sensing instead of swiping)… also the accuracy is above 95% which was unprecedented even in the work stations…. don’t throw your Apple hate without using brain…

      • Shaunak Basu

        Good Camera? Seriously? Nokia started the camera revolution….
        Their asthetics are inspired from hTC/ Samsung…
        The build quality that people talk about today was unleashed by the M7…..

        • PrasadV

          Ok… now whatever you say…

          You have not see the Samsung document which was created by Samsung down designers to imitate iPhone and iOS pixel to pixel…take your half knowledge to somewhere else…

          I give credit to HTC for creating metal phone but iPhone is more closer to their iPod designs than HTC phones… take your hate somewhere else… it is infact HTC that cloned the recent flagship like a carbon copy…take a closer look.

          Build quality is always a relative thing… iPhone5 was one of the most beautiful and quality phone released during its time…

          Nokia started Camera revolution? where is Nokia now? just the same question you asked about Blackberry right?

          Your hate is clear… you dont want to give credit where it is due… in stead you support shameless copycats like Samsung… at least support OEMs like blackberry, Sony who are not copying on wholesale…

          • Shaunak Basu

            Alternatively you can take your ‘fanboy’ attitude to Mac / iOS sites….

          • PrasadV

            haha…I see shameless Samsung supporter… go search the document…understand what Samsung did with iPhone and then come back for discussion… you blind fellow.

  • Naveena Paramahamsa

    Xioami is below Apple because of it’s poor strategy and demeaning Indian consumers.
    They launch their products in India almost 2 yes after they are released in China and Indian consumers would have lost interest on that product by that time.
    Xioami products are really good for their prices. But it only depends on how seriously they are considering Indian market.
    For instance, they have released mi5 – such a wonderful product now and they ll release on India after over year by which time people would have lost interest in that phone.

  • Karly Johnston

    The new Redmi 3 and Note 3 Pro will change that real fast.

  • bob

    the problem with xiaomi is they are very slow in releasing their products and the availability