Samsung continues to rule India, but key rivals (including Apple) are inching closer

Samsung continues to rule India, but key rivals (including Apple) are inching closer

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Unable to threaten Apple’s supremacy in the US smartphone market and incapable of gaining the least bit of relevance in China, Samsung has always relied heavily on India as a key growth driver for its massive global mobile business.

Xiaomi, Vivo, and Realme are all outpacing the champion

At first glance, you’d probably be inclined to deem the latest Indian smartphone sales results as a resounding victory for Samsung. But while the Galaxy makers can certainly be happy about winning yet another regional crown, the distance to the market’s silver and bronze medalists during this year’s opening three months is not exactly comforting.

What’s likely to cause even more concern in Samsung’s camp is the great progress reported by Xiaomi, Vivo, and Realme in their Indian sales figures between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024. We’re talking big jumps of 29, 14, and 17 percent respectively, which make Samsung’s own decent year-on-year progress of 6 percent look pretty humble.

Of course, Realme is still only the country’s fifth-largest vendor, which means it’s not exactly in a position to threaten Samsung’s dominant status anytime soon. But Xiaomi and Vivo are just one percent behind India’s champion in market share, and if their growth rate stays the same in the next couple of quarters, 2024 could well wrap up with a new regional gold medalist.

For what it’s worth (and it’s likely worth a lot), the Galaxy S24 family is once again described as a stronger seller than the S23 series this time last year, and with the help of future price drops, the new ultra-high-end handset trio could still keep Samsung in its towering position in India.

Xiaomi’s “resurgence”, meanwhile, was apparently fueled primarily by low to mid-end models like the Redmi 13C 5G and Redmi Note 13 5G, so at least from a profit margin standpoint, Samsung is clearly still holding a massive advantage over its rivals.

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Apple and Motorola are also getting big in India

Just like China is Samsung’s Achilles’ heel, India has been a… less fertile ground for Apple than others for many years now. But the Cupertino-based titan is rising around those parts too, with “high double-digit growth” achieved in Q1 thanks mainly to its “cashcow iPhone 15 model.”

Another American company surging in India is Motorola, but it remains to be seen if the vendor top five will be disrupted anytime soon by these two rapidly growing brands or a third one that may not sound familiar to a lot of our readers in the Western Hemisphere: Infinix.

In fourth place, Oppo (excluding OnePlus) actually reported a drop in sales between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024 after reducing the number of new releases in the “mid-high price ranges”, which evidently proved to be a not-so-successful strategy.

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