Samsung refuses to concede India smartphone crown, claiming victory in sales to end users
There’s no denying Xiaomi’s incredible growth over the past year or so in both global smartphone shipments and specific numbers for a few specifically important markets. At the same time, Samsung is clearly doing better than ever from a financial standpoint, retaining its mobile world heavyweight title, as well as continuing its own progress in countries like India.
But the chaebol isn’t happy about the latest regional Canalys report ranking Xiaomi as the top vendor in the world’s second-largest smartphone market for Q4 2017. That’s despite the research firm estimating Samsung’s quarterly shipments surged 17 percent year-on-year, to 7.3 million units, enough for a solid 25 percent slice of the overall pie.
As you may already know, there’s a big difference between shipments to retailers and actual sales to end consumers. Based on GfK measurements covering the November quarter, Samsung still claims a 45 percent value market share and 40 percent volume market share, both of which ensure comfortable local domination.
There’s no way Xiaomi can beat those scores anytime soon, as Samsung’s supply chain is deemed “very efficient and lean till the retailers’ end.” According to the Korean company’s Senior Vice President of Product Planning & Marketing for India, “we don’t do big imports, ship and create massive inventories.” While shipments are described as “important”, they “don’t tell the final market share”, and Samsung is “pretty strong” when it comes to “the real share”, aka what actually ends up in the customers’ hands.