India smartphone shipments grew three percent annually to reach 35.6 million units in the second quarter (Q2) this year and Xiaomi retained the top position, followed by a resurgent Samsung who is closing the gap at the second spot, according to a report by market research firm Strategy Analytics.
"Xiaomi shipped 10.2 million smartphones accounting for 29 percent market share in India during Q2 2019, broadly flat from 29 percent share a year ago.
"Xiaomi remains the number one smartphone vendor in India, due to an extensive retail presence, but its lead over Samsung is starting to shrink," Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
"Samsung is on a recovery path and its smartphone market share has risen sharply from 23 percent in Q2 2018 to 26 percent in Q2 2019. A portfolio refresh undertaken by Samsung last year, and its 'India-first' strategy, have been central to the firm's resurgence in the second quarter."
According to the Boston-headquartered firm, the growth was driven by generous discount schemes promoted by online retailers such as Flipkart.
India today remains one of only a handful of growth markets among the global smartphone industry.
According to Rajeev Nair, Senior Analyst, Strategy Analytics, "Vivo captured 11 percent smartphone share in India in Q2 2019, dipping from 12 percent a year earlier. Like Xiaomi, Vivo is also struggling to fend off a revitalised Samsung."
Oppo maintained fourth place with 8 percent smartphone share in India in Q2 2019, down from 11 percent during Q2 2018.
"Realme is a rising star and its India smartphone market share has jumped from zero to a record 8 percent in the past twelve months. Realme, an Oppo offshoot, is seeing surprisingly strong demand for its affordable Android models such as 3 and C2," Nair added.