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Samsung is clawing back Xiaomi’s lead in India on the back of high Q1 sales

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The Indian smartphone registered an impressive 18% year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2021, according to the IDC’s latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. However, IDC expects smartphone shipments in the second quarter to be impacted by the subdued consumer demand due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.

Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India, said in a statement:

The April-June quarter is expected to face growth challenges under the weight of the second wave of infections. However, the high shipments from the first quarter should be able to suffice for the immediate demand. But IDC estimates the impact to be less pronounced compared with last year, with factories being operational today and only limited restrictions on logistics/transportation and state-level lockdowns instead of a nationwide lockdown.

Unsurprisingly, Xiaomi was the largest smartphone vendor in the country in Q1 2021, with a market share of 27.2%. Samsung held the second position with a market share of 19.0%. Interestingly, Xiaomi’s shipments grew by just 3% YoY, while Samsung’s shipments jumped 43.4% YoY. The impressive growth doesn’t come as a surprise, as Samsung launched several Galaxy A and M series budget phones to take on the best cheap Android phones from its Chinese rivals in the second half of 2020. Rounding out the top five were BBK-owned Vivo, OPPO, and Realme.

MediaTek-based smartphones continued to dominate the Indian market with a share of 52%. Qualcomm, in comparison, held a 35% share. Even though 5G networks in India are still several months away, nearly 7% of overall shipments were 5G in the January to March period. This also helped increase the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones in the country to $176. In the premium segment, 5G phones accounted for 71% of all shipments.

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