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Xiaomi reigns supreme during India's festive sales period as realme makes waves

Samsung may have been tops for offline sales, but Xiaomi's online push helped it claim number one overall.

Published onNovember 30, 2018

The front of the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro.
  • Xiaomi was reportedly the top-selling smartphone manufacturer during India’s festive season.
  • Samsung secured the top spot for offline sales, while Xiaomi was number one for online sales.
  • Newcomer realme was at number two for online sales and third overall.

The Diwali festive season has become a big battleground for smartphone brands in India, as they all duke it out for a piece of the pie. This year’s sales period saw Xiaomi emerged victorious, according to Counterpoint Research.

The analytics firm found that Xiaomi was the number one brand overall during the festive period (from October 9 to November 8), securing a massive 29 percent market-share. By comparison, second-placed Samsung secured 19 percent of the market.

It might be a new brand in 2018, but Realme managed to secure third place overall with nine percent market-share. This is an impressive debut for a brand that wasn’t even around during last year’s festive season. The company is clearly making a splash, but it’ll need to target offline sales in a big way if it wants to close the gap to Samsung.

India's festive season sales in 2018.

Samsung was buoyed by strong offline sales, with a massive 30 percent market-share in this segment, followed by Vivo (14 percent) and Xiaomi (14 percent). But online sales helped Xiaomi in a big way, as it secured 43 percent of the online pie compared to second-placed realme (18 percent) and Huawei (eight percent).

“Emerging brands such as OnePlus, Pocophone, Asus and HMD Nokia also registered strong uptake during the festive season due to the new launches ahead of the festive sale period,” said Counterpoint senior analyst Hanish Bhatia. “Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPhones had a relatively lukewarm response for its new and older iPhone models compared to the rest of the brands (sic).”

Counterpoint analyst Karn Chauhan added that the 2018 festive sales period saw growth of 26 percent compared to festive sales in 2017. This apparently marked the highest year-on-year growth rate for the festive sales period.

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