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Samsung taunts Xiaomi on 'real sales', Xiaomi hits back with 'secret warehouses' remark

Sohini Mitter
20th Feb 2018
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Xiaomi surpassed Samsung in India market share in the second half of 2017. Samsung, the global leader, doesn't like it. 

Samsung and Xiaomi have been locked in a battle for supremacy in India, which is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. While Samsung leads in terms of global market share, ahead of even Apple, Xiaomi reported two brilliant quarters in India, where it surpassed the Korean manufacturer in device shipments.

Samsung, of course, refuted industry reports that its market share had slipped. Asim Warsi, Samsung India's Global Vice President, said in a recent media interview that actual sales is a more important metric than shipments, and Samsung was leading the race there. “The real share is what I sold out to my customers, and here, we are pretty strong,” Asim said.

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Xiaomi has now hit back at Samsung. Manu Jain, Xiaomi VP and India MD, said that the Chinese smartphone-maker was selling phones faster than competition.

“Whatever is being produced locally or shipped into India from us is actually being sold faster than any other brand, unless I am building big, secret warehouses and accumulating the unsold handsets there,” he said. Manu, who’s been credited for Xiaomi’s meteoric rise in India, added,

We don't have even a week’s inventory anywhere in our system, unlike other brands who at times have two-three months of inventory. We are selling stocks coming in the second week of January right in the third week.

By the numbers

Xiaomi became the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand in 2017. It grew yearly shipments by a massive 56 percent in 2017, according to Counterpoint Research. Samsung, on the other hand, grew its shipments by three percent, and lost the top spot to Xiaomi in India after leading the market for 24 consecutive quarters.

In India alone, Xiaomi tripled its shipments year-on-year and sold more than two million units of Mi Phones via offline channels. Its offline network contributed significantly to its lead over Samsung.

Manu told IANS, “We launched eight smartphones in 2017 and all did exceedingly well. In some of the quarter results, the top three smartphones were Xiaomi units.”

According to IDC, which tracks both offline and online sales of phones, Xiaomi occupied 26.8 percent of the market in Q42017, while Samsung’s share stood at 24.2 percent.

Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said: “Xiaomi taking a lead over Samsung in the smartphone market was the key highlight of the last quarter of 2017.”

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