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Report: Xiaomi was most popular smartphone brand in India for 2018

It may have been the top smartphone brand in India for 2018, but it wasn't the top mobile brand in general.

Published onJanuary 29, 2019

The back of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro.
  • Xiaomi was the most popular smartphone brand in India last year, according to Counterpoint Research.
  • The Chinese brand reportedly jumped from 19 percent market-share in 2017 to 28 percent last year.
  • Jio was the top mobile brand across feature-phones and smartphones in general.

Xiaomi enjoyed a pretty successful 2018 around the world, launching its Pocophone sub-brand and coming to more European countries. Now, Counterpoint Research has more good news for the company, as it found Xiaomi was the number one smartphone brand in India for 2018.

According to the tracking firm’s statistics, the Chinese company hit a massive 28 percent market-share in 2018, while second-placed Samsung accounted for 24 percent market-share. It marks an impressive turnaround for the company as, just a year ago, Samsung was number one at 24 percent, while Xiaomi was sitting at 19 percent.

A table by Counterpoint Research, showing Indian market-share in 2018.

Vivo (10 percent), Oppo (eight percent), and Micromax (five percent) made up the top five players in India for the year. Interestingly, these figures and positions were unchanged from a year ago. But the “others” category dropped from 34 percent market-share in 2017 to 25 percent in 2018, illustrating the consolidation taking place.

One brand that missed out on a top five finish for the year was Realme, but the company secured fourth place for the last quarter of the year (with eight percent market-share). realme’s quarterly climb came at the expense of parent company OPPO, which was relegated to fifth place in Q4.

A table by Counterpoint Research, showing Q4 2018 market-share.

The tracking firm also revealed the fastest growing smartphone brands, led by Tecno (221 percent), Honor (183 percent), and Infinix (146 percent). It’s pretty interesting to see two out of Transsion Holdings’ three brands in the top three, with only iTel missing out. Otherwise, HMD Global (138 percent) and Asus (76 percent) completed the list of fastest growing smartphone OEMs.

OnePlus in 2019: A force to be reckoned with

OnePlus didn’t crack the top five fastest-growing brands or top five brands by market-share, but it still enjoyed a rather successful 2018 in India. In fact, the analytics firm noted that OnePlus achieved 58 percent year-on-year growth, making it the most successful premium smartphone brand in the market.

It’s worth noting, however, that feature phones grew faster than smartphones for the first time, according to Counterpoint. This was led by the Jio Phone, which was also the most popular phone in India for 2018, even when taking smartphones into account. In fact, Jio accounted for 21 percent market-share in 2018 across feature-phones and smartphones alike. It doesn’t hurt that the feature-phone offers nearly unlimited data, 4G support, free voice calls, Google apps, and WhatsApp.

NEXT: Portless phones — Dumb gimmick or inevitable future?

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