The smartphone industry in India was dominated by Samsung in Q4 2022, taking 20% of the market, while Xiaomi came in second with an 18% share. According to analysts, the “premiumization” of the market in the nation is largely to blame for this. Indians are considering more expensive smartphones as they have more disposable money now.
Two years ago, the sub-$120 segment in India accounted for 41% of the total smartphone sales, whereas now, that share has fallen to 26%. In contrast, the premium segment (above $360) sees a two-fold growth of 11%.
That’s the main reason Samsung overtook Xiaomi, as the latter is focusing on budged-friendly devices, while Samsung is betting on its mid-range to high-end models. For example, in 2022, the Korean tech giant offered 16 premium handsets while Xiaomi had only 6. Their budget-friendly portfolio was 7 and 39, respectively, with most of Xiaomi’s cheap smartphones being out of stock.
It appears that Xiaomi is having trouble adjusting to the expanding and developing Indian market. While Samsung sells 13% more expensive products than Xiaomi, only 1% of Xiaomi’s sales are premium phones. A $674 million portion of Xiaomi’s funds have also been frozen by the government due to alleged illegal payments to overseas organizations. Given the tense connection between China and India, this is not a huge surprise.
Samsung, on the other hand, appears to be reaping the benefits of its aggressive loan plan. The business began providing no-strings-attached easy-access loans to new clients in 2022. Smartphone loans were approved for borrowers with bad credit, no proof of address, and unstable income, producing $1 billion in revenue.
Notably, experts forecast that Apple will grow in the upcoming months and years because the company focuses exclusively on premium smartphones, which will experience increasing demand as the standard of living in India rises.