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Xiaomi has a serious problem on its hands, according to this data
- The Xiaomi market share in India has dropped to a new low.
- Samsung is now the top player in India, with data suggesting it will hold that crown going forward.
- India is Xiaomi’s second-most important market (after China), and it has been the top dog there in almost every quarter since 2017.
The two largest smartphone markets in the world are China and India. In the latter country, there’s been one player that’s dominated smartphone sales for the past five years: Xiaomi. This has been thanks to its recipe of good-looking phones with decent specs and rock-bottom prices.
However, things are changing in India. Anti-China sentiment is at an all-time high, and Indians have more disposable income than in previous years. Thanks to data from Counterpoint Research, we can see that Xiaomi’s market share in the Indian smartphone industry has plummeted. In fact, 2022 saw the end of a five-year streak of Xiaomi dominating the Indian smartphone market in all quarters but one.
As one would expect, Xiaomi’s loss is Samsung’s gain.
Xiaomi market share drop
The chart above shows the fight between Samsung and Xiaomi for Indian market share over the past few years. You can see Xiaomi dominating almost every quarter, with Samsung losing serious steam from Q2 2018 through Q1 2020, the latter of which saw the company at an all-time low. If you’ll remember, this time period was the doldrums of the Galaxy A series, Samsung’s mid-range and budget portfolio. Without strong entries in the market, Samsung basically handed the wins to Xiaomi.
However, around this time, Samsung actually started taking the Galaxy A series seriously and bounced right back. However, Xiaomi’s market share was superior in all quarters save one: Q3 2020, right around the time the Galaxy A series got good again. Still, Samsung lost that momentum quickly.
In 2022, though, Xiaomi’s market share plummeted. As mentioned earlier, a combination of anti-China sentiment and citizens’ willingness to spend more on smartphones contributed to this downfall. Now, in 2023, the chart above heavily suggests Samsung will continue to gain in the country while Xiaomi continues to fall.
This chart should be very concerning to Xiaomi. It’s clear that its usual strategy — releasing a lot of really cheap phones all the time — isn’t going to work anymore. It needs to start making phones that appeal to buyers who want a bit more quality, even if that means they need to spend a little extra. If it doesn’t make this change, the Indian market will be Samsung’s — and even Apple’s — to win.