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Xiaomi overtakes Samsung in world's hottest smartphone market

26 January 2018

Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio is in talks with Xiaomi on a long-term partnership deal to sell the Chinese company's TV sets and smartphones exclusively through the Jio retail network and the Reliance Digital chain of stores, The Economic Times reports citing two unnamed senior industry executives. Data from two independent market research firms have confirmed the development through the above applies to sales in only the fourth quarter of past year.

Xiaomi tied with Samsung for the top spot in India's handset segment late a year ago, and with the momentum strongly in favor of the Chinese manufacturer, it was only a matter of time before it overtook Samsung.

According to Canalys, Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million smartphones in the October, 2017 to December, 2017 quarter, capturing 27.4 percent of the market share. "As Xiaomi's market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries".

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Xiaomi, often dubbed the "Chinese Apple", has identified India as its next growth engine as it faces increasingly stiff competition in its home markets and looks for diversified, long-term earnings channels to shore up its plans for an IPO this year.

According to Canalys, the smartphone market in India has increased by 6%.

Perhaps due to these devices-and a number of other high bang-for-buck offerings by Xiaomi-the company got within touching distance of Samsung in Q3. It will be interesting to see what will happen in 2018, as the changes from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 are staggering, at least in Xiaomi's case.

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Another reason why Xiaomi was able to topple Samsung was because it allowed its Indian unit the freedom to run the business locally, Canalys posited. Xiaomi's Redmi series smartphones are the most popular mid-range phones in Indian market carrying millions of devices. "Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi's Indian operations", Dutt added.

"Samsung's loss comes from its inability to transform its low-priced product portfolio", Canalys analyst (say that three times) Rushabh Doshi was quoted as saying.

Experts attributed Xiaomi's growth to its impressive product portfolio in the sub Rs. 15,000 smartphone segment which also forms the bulk of smartphone sales in the country. The total smartphone shipments in the said quarter was under 30 million units. The results are commendable taking into account the company entered the Indian shores only three years back.

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Xiaomi overtakes Samsung in world's hottest smartphone market