Samsung is back in the lead in the world's second-largest smartphone market

Samsung is back in the lead in the world's second-largest smartphone market
While Samsung has been comfortably dominating global smartphone sales for several years now, undeterred by flagship device recalls and the astonishing rise of China’s Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO or Vivo, an important status quo change was recently noticed in India.

The world’s second-most populous country just so happens to also be the second biggest smartphone market, behind China, but ahead of the US, so naturally, when Xiaomi defeated Samsung in regional shipments during last year’s final quarter, the chaebol took notice.

Samsung also took action shortly after ranking second in the January - March 2018 timeframe, launching the budget-friendly Galaxy J6 and J8 with “Infinity” screens. The former model was actually India’s third best-selling smartphone in Q2, crucially contributing to the company’s return to the number one position.

Xiaomi is still a very close second, according to the latest Counterpoint Research Market Monitor data, at 28 percent share. Samsung had 29 percent between April and June, while Vivo and OPPO scored 12 and 10 percent slices of the pie respectively.


The country’s list of top five smartphone models for the same period is unlikely to ring many bells in the US or Western Europe, including the low-cost Xiaomi Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy J6, as well as the Redmi Note 5 and Vivo Y71 in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Believe it or not, the OnePlus 6 was the most popular “premium” smartphone in India during the year’s second quarter, despite seeing daylight towards the end of May. Apparently, a little over a month was enough for the OP6 to outsell “veterans” like Apple’s iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. Of course, Apple continues to struggle in a region where the quality/price ratio is the most important buying criteria for the overwhelming majority of consumers. In fact, iPhones scored their lowest local market share in “recent history”, at a microscopic 1 percent.

source: Counterpoint Research
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