Samsung, like all top OEMs, has operations in India. With the country having over 1 billion people and having supplanted the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world, the country can ill afford to be ignored. The latest market share analysis from research firm Counterpoint shows that Korean OEM Samsung, along with Chinese OEM Xiaomi, sit atop the Indian smartphone market with nearly half of all market share.
Samsung's market share remains at 23%, the same as the OEM had last year, but Xiaomi has seen a real boon to its success in India - with a rise from 6% market share last year to 22% market share as of Q3 2017. BBK Electronics-owned OPPO doubled market share in Q3, growing from 4% to 8% market share. Vivo saw nearly double market share gain, rising from 5% to 9%, but Lenovo saw a 2% decrease from 9% to 7% in Q3.
Samsung's strength in India remains despite the growth of Chinese OEMs particularly because of the investments the electronics giant has made in the country, such as the availability of its Tizen-powered Samsung Z4 for the country (India was the first to receive the Z4), the financing of a production plant in India, the creation of the Samsung Digital Academy to train developers for Tizen app development, the launch of a Product Experience Centre in India, and the announcement of its new AI, Bixby, for the country, among others.
One major factor in Samsung's favour has been the push for its entry-level Tizen-powered Z series in the region, considering that 50% of the market in India is still using feature phones. Samsung's entry-level Z series can be just what first-time smartphone users need to transition from feature phones to the smartphone market as a whole.
As for feature phones, Samsung saw a slight rise from 21% to 23%, with Intel doubling its market share from 6% to 13%. Micromax saw a 1% drop in feature phone market share while Lava saw its feature phone market share drop by nearly 50% over the last year.