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Read more about Xiaomi pips Samsung to become top smartphone seller in India in Q4 2017 on Business Standard. MUMBAI (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> has lost its crown as the top smartphone seller in India for the first time in six years, as it was outsold by China\'s Xiaomi in the final quarter of 2017, data from two tech research firms shows.

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xiaomi pips samsung to become top smartphone

Xiaomi pips Samsung to become top

smartphone seller in India in Q4 2017

Samsung Electronics has lost its crown as the top smartphone seller in India for

the first time in six years, as it was outsold by China's Xiaomi in the final quarter

of 2017, data from two tech research firms shows.

Xiaomi's aggressively priced suite of high-spec handsets and market expansion

strategy enabled it to take the top spot in the world's biggest smartphone market

after China, said Tarun Pathak of Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese company, which is exploring a public listing and is now valued at

close to $100 billion, entered India just over three years ago.

Its strategy there has so far rested on flash sales on leading homegrown e-

commerce player Flipkart and US tech giant Amazon.com's Indian site, an

approach that helped it snatch market share

approach that helped it snatch market share without have to spend heavily on

marketing.

Counterpoint pegged Xiaomi's smartphone market share in India at 25 percent in

the fourth quarter based on shipments, ahead of Samsung's 23 percent.

Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo came in behind them, each with about 6 percent market

share.

However, it ranked Samsung as the top seller for the year as the South Korean

company was well ahead of Xiaomi in the first half of 2017.

Separately, research firm Canalys said Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million smartphones in

the fourth quarter, while Samsung shipped 7.3 million.

"Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi's growth, but the key reason for its

current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run

the business locally," said Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt.

Canalys estimates Xiaomi has 27 percent of the Indian market while Samsung is

on 25 percent.

"Samsung's loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product

portfolio," said Rushabh Doshi of Canalys.

The South Korean company has been unable to win over cost-conscious buyers,

thereby losing market share in the sub-15,000 rupee ($235) segment to Xiaomi

quarter after quarter, he said.

Samsung said in a statement that it led Indian smartphone sales in the September

to November period, based on data by research firm GfK.

Xiaomi could not immediately be reached for comment.