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According to a new report by Canalys, Samsung and Xiaomi each shipped 9.9 million smartphones to India last quarter.
It said together, the two companies now account for 60 percent of total shipments in India, up from 43 percent a year ago.
"Samsung is hitting back," said Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen.
"It has launched devices pitted directly against Xiaomi's portfolio and is focusing on its cameras and imaging capabilities with Portrait Dolly and Background Blur Shape functions," he added.
Based on Canalys smartphone sell-in estimates, the Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro was the company's best-selling device in Q2 2018 with 2.3 million units shipped in the country. On the flip side, Xiaomi shipped 3.3 million units of Redmi 5A during the quarter.
"Despite Xiaomi's growing popularity in India, Samsung will remain the first choice for consumers. Its technological prowess and supply chain mastery will continue to give it an edge over Xiaomi for the foreseeable future," said Canalys.
The report pointed out that Vivo took the third place with 3.6 million shipments while Oppo is in the fourth position with 3.1 million shipments respectively. The overall shipments in Q2 2018 grew by 22 percent to just under 33 million units, the report added.
Canalys further said that despite ongoing consolidation at the top, small vendors are making effort, rewriting their business strategies for 'long-term sustainability' and 'profitability.' Asus switching its distribution to online-first strategy with Flipkart, its shipment nearly tripled since the previous quarter, Canalys noted.
"Volume is not the only strategy in India," Canalys Research Manager Rushabh Doshi said. "Samsung and Xiaomi often distract from the opportunities that India has to offer smaller and leaner smartphone vendors looking for additional business opportunities. The climate is right for businesses to realign and re-enter the market. Apple's iPhone shipments to India fell by about 50 percent in Q2 2018.
But Apple's paring back of distributor partners and move to a 'brand-first, volume-next' strategy will reap rewards as it will ensure better margin per device. Getting priorities right will be important to smartphone vendors, and it will be a choice between profitability and volume growth," he added.