Xiaomi beats Apple, as the most preferred smartphone upgrade choice in India

Xiaomi 26%, Samsung 12% and Apple are the top three preferred brands for the next smartphone purchase among Android panel, says Strategy Analytics.

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Xiaomi is the most preferred upgrade choice for Indian consumers in 2017 beating competition from and . According to the report, 26 per cent of potential Android buyers looking to upgrade their devices in 2017 list Xiaomi as their preferred brand. The survey is based on insights from a Strategy Analytics opt-in panel in India of over 2000 participants.

“Xiaomi 26%, Samsung 12% and Apple are the top three preferred brands for the next smartphone purchase among our Android panel.  Micromax despite holding a 9% share of devices in our panel was voted preferred brand for their next smartphone by only 2% of the panel,” said Strategy Analytics.

“Xiaomi for the first time since it started operations in the Indian market was ranked among the top three vendors in Q4 2016. The vendor grew a whopping 125% YoY and 17% QoQ and captured 10% of market share in India in the quarter. Further evidence of Xiaomi gaining ground in India is provided by our Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) program which shows  that the vendors had four models in the top-20 list (our report covers the top-200 best-selling smartphone models in India),” said  Rajeev Nair, Senior Analyst, Strategy Analytics.

What is interesting to note is that consumers evaluated purchase drivers such as online availability, network speed and chipset performance over features such as camera, screen size and resolution.

“The importance of network speed and processor performance to Android smartphone buyers is good news both for operators as they seek LTE customer and chipset vendors looking to migrate the huge base of feature phone users in India. A disconnect does appear as vendor favored marketing themes on camera quality, megapixels, screen resolution are really not top of mind for many Indian Android smartphone buyers,” said the report.

Indian Smartphone: preferred brands vs share of installed base Android users

Vendor Share Android Panel % Preferred Brand for Next Smartphone
Xiaomi 16% 26%
Samsung 18% 12%
Lenovo 11% 6%
Motorola 11% 7%
Micromax 9% 2%
Apple ~ 12%
One Plus 2.4% 6%

Source: Strategy Analytics.

“Indian Android smartphone owners are tech savvy with definite brand preferences and specification requirements.  It is striking how poorly Micromax is rated in terms of purchase consideration relative to its position in the market. Clearly a pool of dissatisfaction exist which One Plus, Xiaomi and others are stepping in to address. With Nokia reentering the market this month, a powerful emotive brand will be added as an option to those dissatisfied with the current status quo. Micromax as well as Sony, LG, Lenovo and Motorola have cause for concern,” said David Kerr, Senior Vice President at Strategy Analytics.

All Xiaomi ship with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors in India and are optimised for India-specific bands for the most efficient usage of 4G/LTE, said company.

“Our phones are built with a vision to make technology innovation affordable to everyone. We don’t compromise on our cost to value proposition, our fan engagement or our quality. We’ve seen that help Xiaomi grow and consolidate its position in the Indian smartphone market every year. We are thrilled to see this belief in Xiaomi’s brand ethos unequivocally validated by consumers through this report,” said Manu Jain, vice president and managing director, Xiaomi India.

According to analyst firm IDC, Xiaomi India has become the number one selling smartphone brand in the online market, with 29.3 percent share, and the second largest smartphone brand in India with 10.7 percent market share in Q4 2016.

Strategy Analytics has also stated the Indian premium smartphone segment (above ₹35,000) remains small at only 6% of potential buyers with over half of Indian smartphone buyers likely to spend between ₹10,000 – 20,000.

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