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Samsung losing more ground in India while vivo gobbles it up

Samsung shipped fewer devices and lost market share in India over the past quarter, which is very bad news.

Published onApril 30, 2019

Samsung Logo from CES FirstLook 2018-1

Samsung lost its top spot in India to Xiaomi a little over a year ago now (whether Samsung wants to admit it or not). Although there doesn’t appear to be any chance in the near future of the company losing its second-place slot, the latest smartphone shipment estimates paint a bleak picture for the South Korean electronics giant.

According to Canalys, Samsung shipped 7.3 million smartphones in India during the first quarter of 2019. That’s a small (but significant) drop of 200,000 units as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

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Of the top four Indian smartphone vendors — Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo, in that order — Samsung is the only brand to ship fewer smartphones in the country year-over-year.

To make matters worse, Samsung also lost Indian market share this past quarter by a little less than one percent.

Samsung’s troubles in India reflect the company’s woes throughout the rest of the world, so these results aren’t too surprising. However, India is a very important market for all smartphone vendors as its one of the few markets that’s still growing, making it an opportunity for revenue. Samsung’s share shrinking is definitely bad news.

It wasn’t all dour news in India, though. Number one vendor Xiaomi grew its market share by four percent and shipped 400,000 more smartphones than it did the previous year. The overall India market also grew by just under two percent — not an excessive amount of growth, but growth nonetheless.

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The real star of India right now, though, is vivo. According to Canalys, vivo shipped 2.4 million more smartphones in India as compared to Q1 2018, a growth of over 100 percent. This increased its market share from 7.3 percent to 15 percent, handily securing its third-place slot on the leaderboard.

Also, the young company Realme — itself an offshoot of OPPO — made significant gains shipping 1.3 million units. We can’t compare that number to Q1 2018 because the company wasn’t active then, which is pretty impressive growth.

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