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India Q4 2021: realme hits number three for the first time

Xiaomi may have achieved the top spot in Q4 2021 in India, but realme impressed the most in the quarter.

Published onJanuary 24, 2022

realme GT review lead image placed on a bag
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • realme secured third place in India during Q4 2021, a tracking firm found.
  • The company achieved fourth place when looking at 2021 as a whole.
  • Xiaomi was the top brand in both Q4 2021 and the full year.

realme has been a fixture in India since its 2018 debut, offering a variety of cut-price phones and taking the fight to Samsung and Xiaomi. It looks like the company made some major strides in Q4 2021 too.

Canalys data showed that realme reached number three in Q4 2021, hitting 7.6 million units shipped and 17% market share. It was the only brand in the top five to see year-on-year growth in the quarter too (49%). It’s also the first time that realme has reached the top three in India.

In fact, realme is very close to second-placed player Samsung. The Korean brand achieved 19% market share and 8.5 million units shipped (a 7% yearly decline).

But Samsung was, in turn, threatening top-placed Xiaomi, which saw a 22% yearly decline in the quarter to achieve 21% market share and 9.3 million units shipped.

As unlikely as it sounds, we could theoretically see realme pass both Samsung and Xiaomi for the number one spot if the two established players have a similarly bad quarter and realme maintains its momentum.

Canalys attributed realme’s performance to “innovations in planning and stock management” which resulted in a good supply of cheaper phones. It also noted that the likes of Samsung and realme offered more chipset variety to help manage supplies.

vivo and OPPO accounted for fourth and fifth places respectively, with 13% and 11% market share (a decline of 27% and 19%).

The Indian market in 2021

Things look rosier for Xiaomi when looking at all of 2021, achieving 25% market share and 40.5 million units shipped (0% annual growth). Second-placed Samsung accounted for 19% of the market and 30.1 million units shipped (5% growth).

realme slips down one spot in the full year rankings, achieving a 15% share (25% YoY growth) and only slightly behind vivo at 16% market share. Finally, OPPO was in fifth place with 12% market share and 6% annual growth.

As for the Indian market in general in 2021, Canalys said the country achieved a record 162 million smartphones shipped (12% yearly growth).

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