Xiaomi may lose number one spot to Samsung due to Realme, Vivo and OPPO

“Xiaomi has been leading the Indian smartphone market for the past two years”

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi may slip from the top position of the Indian smartphone market next year. Industry experts believe that the OEM, which has held the position for the past two years, could lose the spot to Samsung in 2020. “Samsung could resurface as the leader while Xiaomi’s share is being eaten up by Realme and others,” according to Prabhu Ram Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG) CyberMedia Research (CMR). Xiaomi’s share has been plummeting due to remarkable strides made by BBK (parent company of OPPO, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus) brands in India.

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IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, November 2019

Per IDC (International Data Corporation) report, Xiaomi had a market share of 30.6 percent at the end of Q1 2019, ahead of Samsung, which took the second spot with a share of 22.3 percent. However, by Q3 2019 the market share of Xiaomi fell by almost 3 percent to settle at 27.1 percent. Samsung also witnessed a decline as its share went down to 18.9 percent. BBK group brands such as Realme, meanwhile, grabbed 14.3 percent market share at the end of Q3 – up from 6 percent in Q1 2019. OPPO and Vivo share in the market also grew to 15 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.

“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,” said Ram in a Mint report.

The report further added that the 49 percent sales of smartphones in 2020 will be in the affordable segment (Rs 5,000 – Rs 10,000) where Xiaomi still has its stronghold. It’s the mid-range segment where the vendor has to worry. “The other major chunk is mid-segment (Rs 10,001 to Rs 25,000). Here we have an increasingly good number of strong players emerging like Realme, OPPO and Vivo. This segment will sell 44% of smartphones,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at market research firm techARC.

Xiaomi faces an uphill task in 2020 and to retain its numero uno position, it would need to go beyond its existing brand imagery and also consolidate its offline play. While Samsung seems to be the obvious player to take over Xiaomi, one cannot underestimate 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.

The Indian smartphone market in 2019, meanwhile, shipped a record 46.6 million units in the Q3 – a growth of 26.5 percent quarter-over-quarter and 9.3 percent year-over-year, according to IDC.