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Samsung stationary in Indian market, Xiaomi, vivo and others catching up

A recent report from mobile and IT industry analyst canalys says Indian smartphone shipments were up 12% in Q1, 2017, but Samsung's shipments flatlined.

Published onMay 1, 2017

Samsung’s performance in India appeared to be at a standstill in Q1, 2017, despite the fact that the Indian market itself grew by 12% year-on-year. Samsung held its number one position with 22% of the market, shipping around 6 million units (as in Q1, 2016), according to a recent report from mobile and IT industry analyst canalys. Chinese smartphone vendors, however, are catching up on the South Korean giant.

canalys estimates that more than 27 million smartphones shipped in Q1, 2017, of which Xiaomi accounted for 14%. That’s up from 3% over the same period last year, which canalys puts down to its online-only business strategy. vivo was in third place, holding an 11% market share, with its success attributed to its “highly fragmented ‘unorganized’ retail market,” and investment in marketing campaigns.

Though Samsung maintained its foothold in Q1, with shipments in the market up more than 10%, some growth might have been expected from the company. However, Samsung had one flagship less during that period following the cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7 last year, and its latest flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, were just released in Q2, 2017. It’s remarkable that Samsung was even able to hold steady.

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The company now stands in a good place to gain some percentage points in Q2 with help from its acclaimed new flagships. According to The Korea Herald:

Samsung started to receive pre-orders for the S8 and its larger sibling [the] S8 Plus on April 19 and the pre-orders reached 80,000 in a week — four times more than the pre-booking for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge — on pace to hit 150,000 before its official introduction on May 5 [in India].

With Chinese OEMs gaining traction thanks to their low-cost hardware, it’s not inconceivable that Samsung could fall from the top spot in the coming couple of years or so. In the interim, its Galaxy S series devices will help keep it on its perch.

What are your thoughts on the Chinese manufacturer’s chances of overtaking Samsung in smartphone shipments? Let us know in the comments.

Please note: the above concerns statistics from one independent researcher and may differ from other industry analytics providers.

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