Samsung failed to maintain the top spot as it shipped 7.3 million smartphones, and secured second place in the market with 25% market share. Samsung has lost its crown as the top smartphone seller in India for the first time in six years, outsold by China's Xiaomi.
Xiaomi's success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions.
Analyst firm GfK earlier today said India smartphone sales (and not shipments) fell 3 percent in India as low-cost 4G feature phones have cannibalized smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Xiaomi was the clear frontrunner in the online segment, but the manufacturer laid the groundwork for its offline expansion previous year, aggressively focusing on brick-and-mortar stores to drive sales.
The partnership has been reported after Xiaomi India filed requests with the regulators to enter with more products in the Indian market.
Regardless of Samsung's views, there is no denying that Xiaomi had a great 2017 in India. Despite its ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for Samsung's devices has been weak. Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung which was the market leader in the previous quarter. It's indubitable that Xiaomi is making major moves in the market. In this condition, Samsung has to come up with something more innovative to beat the Xiaomi's products.
Now that's where the story would usually end, but like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, there's a twist here. Xiaomi's Redmi series smartphones are the most popular mid-range phones in Indian market carrying millions of devices.
A Samsung's spokesperson said, "Samsung is India's number 1 smartphone company by a distance".
According to the research firm, the company's independence from its Chinese hierarchy has been a deciding factor in increasing sales. It is worth noting, however, that Xiaomi and Samsung own more than 50 percent of the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi is at 27 percent, while Samsung now holds 25 percent of the market. "We owe our undisputed leadership to the love and trust of millions of our consumers in India", Samsung added.
Xiaomi's sales through its website continued its growth and helped boost the share of the overall online channel from 32 percent to 37 percent as compared to a year ago.
Indian handset manufacturers are partnering with telecom service providers as. This makes for a 27 percent share of the market. Let's see what Samsung will cook for the consumers in the future.