Five years ago it would have been unthinkable that the global giant and India’s most popular phone company, Samsung, could be toppled as the king of smartphones in India. He had an excellent brand memory. It was a gigantic cast. Their phones were extremely ambitious. And yet a little-known Chinese company, Xiaomi, sneaked into India and established a bridgehead in 2016. India had yet to wake up to the Xiaomi machine like China did. In fact, it has been widely referred to as the “poor man’s iPhone.”
His game consisted of online flash sales and he was so adept at going crazy with his $ 100 to $ 200 Redmi phones that they had everything a $ 500 smartphone apparently had. The activation among the Indians created an instant sensation in India. Market. Market share rose rapidly to 3% in 2016, but it was still a minnow for Samsung’s 25% market share. With very little India online, let alone consuming things over the internet, Xiaomi was seen as an interesting business, exclusively online: a rebel, a bit cheap, and not in the same league. then a Samsung.
Well, that has certainly changed, and it has changed at chain speed. Today, Xiaomi has swallowed around 28% of the Indian market, while Samsung is below 25 or 26%. Of course, figuring out who’s versus who’s is a crazy game in the rapidly evolving arena of a standard product that can be largely put together from out-of-the-box items such as cameras. Processors and gorillas. Cup. Market watchers rate the arena based on the volume of units shipped, others based on the value of the phones. Today’s leader may be late tomorrow. Still, like a relentless machine, Xiaomi has steadily eaten the market share, while Samsung continues to hover around the same numbers, rising and falling by a few percentage points. How did such a change come about in such a short time?
The prompt response is appreciated. Today, more than 66% of the Indian market is overwhelmed by Chinese brands, but Xiaomi was the first to offer dazzling phones at prices so low that Indians could not believe their luck. They have taken over sites like Flipkart, desperate to be the chosen few who could click the mouse fast enough to capture one of those babies. And it had to be done quickly: tens of thousands of phones disappeared from virtual shelves in less than eight seconds.
Of course, Indian brands like Micromax and Intex, despite their impressive, albeit temporary, profits, had no chance in the early smartphone wars. First, they failed to innovate in a heavily commercialized market such as China and Japan. Then around 2017, they made the fatal mistake of not going the 4G route when smart money did.
They roasted almost overnight. In a time of fiery nationalism in India, seven out of ten of us are likely to carry phones and let the irony sink in for a second or two, from our historic “arch-enemy” China, with whom we had a difficult relationship, for say the least.
The next piece of the puzzle that Xiaomi solved was to approach the offline market like a pit bull, having effortlessly entered the online market. Every second phone sold on the internet is a Xiaomi. In 2017, it began opening pop-up stores at large-format electronics retailers, then its own multi-brand “Preferred Partner” stores, where they intelligently sold their own phones to others to increase their point of sale sales. , then its exclusive Mi Home stores. In this way, it has been possible to gain market share in tier 2 and tier 3 cities without spending a ton on a traditional and exclusive sales strategy like Samsung.
With a record shipments of 36.9 million phones beaten in the second quarter of 2019 and growth rates still through the roof, it seems that Xiaomi is destined for great things. However, the fickle manners of the smartphone industry are such that one year can create a completely different market scenario. Xiaomi’s other Chinese rivals Oppo, Vivo and Huawei have also flooded the Indian market, but not with the same impressive advances as Xiaomi. Many of them focus on specific market segments. Ultimately, it’s such a contested space that if many future Xiaomi fidgets over some of the action, things could change very quickly.
And then there’s Samsung, which won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s up to three percentage points from 23% to 26% last year, and the retail reach and customer service network and the ambitious brand are still a huge win. comes out. This means that Xiaomi has designed its work to defend its profits. At the moment, however, it can be called the undisputed king of Indian smartphones.