Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is confident that it will be able to retain its No. 1 position in the Indian smartphone market next year too, but industry experts believe that the country may see a different winner in 2020.
At the end of the first quarter of 2019, Xiaomi had a market share of 30.6%, far ahead of Samsung, which took the second spot with a share of 22.3%.
But by the third quarter of 2019, Xiaomi’s market share fell to 27.1%. Samsung too experienced a decline as its share went down to 18.9%.
“Given the remarkable Q3 2019 strides made by the BBK (parent company of OPPO, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus) brands in India, Xiaomi would need to be wary of the rising competition and the decline in its market share. In the first three quarters of 2019, Xiaomi lost 3% market share,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), said.
Out of the BBK Group brands, Realme’s rise in the Indian smartphone market has been truly spectacular. From 6% market share in Q1 of 2019, it grabbed 14.3% market share at the end of Q3.
“As Realme comes with new offerings in the mid-tier and premium segment, and OPPO and Vivo also unveil plans to go premium, Xiaomi faces an uphill battle,” Ram agreed.
To retain their numero uno position, Xiaomi would need to go beyond its existing brand imagery and also consolidate its offline play, Ram said.
“Xiaomi has been able to build on their offline play by building their own chain of Mi Stores, apart from their non-exclusive network of Mi Preferred Partners,” he added.
Ram, however, warned that one cannot underestimate the potential of Realme.
“Realme looks promising and with aggressive strategies, it is potentially well-placed to scale new heights, as long as it is able to avoid inventory glut,” Ram said.