Xiaomi, Jio continue leading as Samsung falters in Q1 2018

During the last quarter, Xiaomi (opens in new tab) bumped Samsung (opens in new tab) off the number one spot as the leading smartphone brand in India. Q1 2018 saw Xiaomi continuing its lead while Oppo (opens in new tab) and Vivo (opens in new tab) saw their market share fall. 

The quarterly report (opens in new tab) by Counterpoint Research on the Indian smartphone market has highlighted the market distribution between the leading brands in the country. Xiaomi leads the pack at 31% while Samsung follows at 26%. Oppo and Vivo both have approximately 5% market share.

Aside from smartphones, they’ve also analysed the market distribution of companies that manufacture feature phones. It’s no surprise that Jio (opens in new tab) is still on top with 35.8% of the market within its fold. Not to say that it’s a small accomplishment, considering that the company has only been in the business of making phones for a little more than a year. 

Overall, the feature phone market actually doubled in India while the smartphone market remained stagnant. Mobile phones, together, grew 48%. 

Same time, last year

If Q1 2017 is compared to Q1 2018, then Xiaomi has seen a three-fold increase in its portion of the smartphone market, while Samsung is at a similar level as before. On the other hand, Oppo and Vivo have both seen their market share halved though they retain their positions.

The scatter also seems to be converging with Indian customers developing brand preferences for smartphones. This can be analysed from the fact that users outside the top five brands seem to have dropped 10%.

Nonetheless, the niche communities around the OnePlus (opens in new tab), Motorola (opens in new tab) and Google Pixel (opens in new tab) can't be discounted.

Though Nokia may not be on the list of the top smartphone brands in India, they seem to be gaining ground in the feature phone segment with their market share shooting up from 0 to 7.3% in under a year.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Samsung. The company is actually the biggest loser among its competitors with the portion of feature phones shrinking from 25% to just under 10%. 



Samsung isn’t the lone victim of the onslaught of JioPhones (opens in new tab) in the Indian market. The JioPhone offers an incredibly low priced device with 4G connectivity that’s feature rich. Following from the low prices that Jio has set in the telecom space, the expansion and deals on the Jio network have also fed into the success of the JioPhone. 

While Jio and Xiaomi widen their lead in the market, the Indian smartphone segments will continue to be the battleground for Chinese brands, Indian brands and international entities like Nokia Mobiles trying to make their mark. 

Each of them has tried to topple the other with design features like the notch or emphasising its camera capabilities like the dual aperture optics of the Samsung S9 (opens in new tab) or the Huawei P20 Pro (opens in new tab) with three rear cameras. Others are trying to remove Xiaomi’s dominance in the budget segment with offerings like the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (opens in new tab) and the Honor 9 Lite (opens in new tab)

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.