The Game of Being Number One Smartphone Brand in India


Samsung M30, Realme 3 and Xiaomi Note 7 smartphones are slated to be launched in the upcoming two weeks

pic credits – Pixabay

Locked in a battle of being the number one smartphone brand in the country, Samsung, Xiaomi and Realme are gearing up to launch their next smartphones in the country. The launch of Xiaomi Note 7, Realme 3 and Samsung M30 smartphones, have been scheduled by the respective brands for the last week of February and first week of March 2019.

A report by Statista had referred towards India as one of the most popular destinations for smartphone companies. It had estimated the number of smartphone users in India to increase to about 442.5 million in 2022. The report said that the volume of India’s smartphone shipments is forecasted to increase to about 700 million in 2020.”

It read, “The combination of very high sales volumes and the average smartphone consumer behavior has made India a very attractive market for foreign vendors.”

Brand and blame games

The battle of being the number one smartphone brand in India seems to be putting so much pressure on these smartphone brands that their executives are not leaving any stone un-turned in making these upcoming smartphones a success, even prior to the official launches.

Realme’s CEO Madhav Sheth, recently took to Twitter to announce the difference between photos taken by a 13 megapixel Realme camera and a touted ’48’ megapixel camera. Interestingly Xiaomi’s Note 7 smartphone will be seen sporting a 48 Megapixel camera in India.

Madhav’s exact tweet read, “Just took some sample shot. One is taken by a 48 MP camera but actually 12 MP by default with due respect has been in news recently. The other one is taken by a 13MP Realme camera. Can you spot the differences? Is it hardware or software optimised.”

Xiaomi’s India MD Manu Kumar Jain had also recently questioned the authenticity of media and product bloggers on Twitter. He, without mentioning the name of any smartphone brand or smartphone model, said that it was ironical to see tech bloggers getting up on stage at product launches.

His tweets mentioning the same had come right after Samsung’s M20 smartphone launch in the country. It is to be noted here that a lot of tweets and social media posts shared by the Xiaomi team have tried to show superiority of the upcoming Note 7 smartphone. These posts, time and again, have emphasised on alphabet M in one way or the other.

Samsung, the oldest and most experienced of these three in the market, have not yet used any such marketing gimmicks. Samsung is also the only Korea-based company in this battle as the other two are primarily based out of China. It is to be noted here that Samsung might have taken an edge over the other two brands by launching its M10 and M20 smartphones.

What do the research companies say

A recent report by IDC had said, “Xiaomi maintained its fourth position globally with 19.6 per cent YoY growth in Q3 2018. It remained ahead of Samsung for the number 1 position in India, one of its major markets, during the quarter. Redmi 5A, 6A, & Note 5/5Pro were a few famous models during the quarter that helped the company to keep up the pace. Xiaomi continued its effort to grow in foreign market through channel partnerships while witnessed its first annual drop in the domestic market during the quarter.”

Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, had said in a report, “The top three smartphone brands, Xiaomi, Samsung and Realme captured 57 per cent of the overall Diwali festive season smartphone sales. Xiaomi sold the most number of smartphones during this period thanks to strong performance in online channels. Xiaomi widened the gap with Samsung which still did relatively well in offline channels capturing 30 per cent share.”

Pathak added, “The newly launched online only smartphone brand, Realme had a record festive performance for any new brand ever in India. Realme immediately captured 9 per cent share jumping to the third spot in overall sales volume performance and also became the second largest in online segment with 18 per cent share.”