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  • Writer's pictureAjay Sharma

The BBK Group Attack Makes Samsung Bleed. Xiaomi, Comes Out Unscathed!

It’s always better to be objective, so let’s first table some data on the Indian Smartphone market.

Table 1

* Data as per IDC

Table 2

* Data as per IDC

Table 3

* Data by Phonearena

Notes: a. The data shown in Table 1 and 2 is for the last 3 years or 12 quarters from Q1 2017 till Q4 2019.

b. The data is divided into two periods – Q1 2017 till Q2 2018 and Q3 2018 till Q4 2019. This serves the purpose of comparing two equal periods – Six quarters prior to the entry of #Realme and six quarters post the entry of Realme in the top 5.


1. Xiaomi is clearly the No. 1 for the last ten quarters. Oh well, not news!

2. Xiaomi is crossing 10 million or 1 Cr. phones every quarter since Q2 2018 except in Q1 2019. Real(ly). But, some of us knew this.

3. Contrary to our subjective belief, Xiaomi has not been impacted by the entry of Realme. In fact its share has gone up after Realme’s entry. Not many of us knew this.

4. Xiaomi’s online share is fairly static – no decline. So they are surely not losing their hold here.

5. #Vivo has taken over as the No. 2 brand in Q4 2019. This has been corroborated by almost all research agencies.

6. Vivo share has gone up reasonably post the entry of Realme. So no impact of Realme on Vivo as well.

7. Vivo is not doing too badly in online at No. 3.

8. Samsung has moved to the No. 3 position in Q4 2019.

9. In the last 3 years, Samsung has never crossed the 10 million or 1 Cr. shipment mark unlike Xiaomi, which has done it for six quarters now.

10. #Samsung shipments are going down for the last 3 quarters – a slide to worry and think about.

11. Samsung has been surely affected by the Realme entry having lost 4.5% share post their entry.

12. The only good thing is the increasing share of Samsung in online where they are No. 2.

13. #Oppo is just about touching the 5 Million mark at the No. 4 position.

14. Oppo has also gained some share post the entry of Realme so no impact on Oppo as well.

15. Realme lost in shipment volumes in Q4 2019. Possibly Q3 2019 was an aberration. Please do read my blog <> .

16. The major thing to worry about for Realme is their declining share in online to about 1/4th of what it was in the festival season.

17. “Others” has been going down every quarter, Realme having taken the major portion of that.

18. Actually it will go up with the entry of #IQOOand #Poco if it’s numbers get reported separately. #Apple is also gaining. “Others” has the potential to go up to 18-20% putting pressure on the top 5 brands to grow or even retain their share.

The Way Forward

To add to my blogs on Samsung, Realme and Vivo, which also have my viewpoint on the way forward, here are some more inputs based on the three Tables.


1. Online holds good. They have to not let go of an inch. Based on past trends, it’s also difficult to increase share here with other brands becoming active in this space.

2. Expand offline – direct coverage of more cities, more non-exclusive retailers (Preferred Partners). Tremendous scope lies here.

3. Discourage trading. Set Samsung, or for that matter #Lava as standard. No harm learning from competition.

4. Realme is not the one that will trouble you. Vivo will and actually its showing.


1. Some scope in online.

2. Offline expansion is now required. 70,000 may be good today but may be less tomorrow. No need to go overboard like Samsung which also sells feature phones.

3. Don’t lose distributors to the competition. Poaching is the easiest route for competition.

4. Too much pressure can break the best. Being a challenger brand also has its challenges.

5. “Apna Time Aayega!” The IPL is around the corner. Just focus on stock availability.

6. Let IQOO not be a competition.

7. Don’t let success go to your head. Remember Nokia and now Samsung.


1. Try and extract a bit more from online.

2. Been hearing good things about the upcoming range. Sell it nicely. With a nice product line up and much lesser supply chain issues, nail it in Q1 and Q2. Once this is achieved, the momentum for Q3 and Q4 is achieved.

3. Get out of the mindset of “we know”. No one knows. One doesn’t get pushed to No. 3 if he does. Time to go back to school!

4. Optimise the WoD. Sometimes less is more. Keyword: Optimise.

5. The supply chain is a strength in these tough times of the Coronavirus impacting component supplies. Push it hard while others struggle.

6. Get the feet on street moving. Even the backend staff, if required, as both Xiaomi and Realme are going to hit the offline hard.

7. Stay away from controversial decisions. Know what.

8. Last but not the least, be aggressive. For God’s sake spend some money NOW on marketing. No more dependence on past glory and articles which show Samsung as the most preferred brand. If it was it would have shown. Now, even brands like Realme have upped their marketing game.


1. While there is growth, it is much lesser than Vivo. Is Realme the reason? If yes, decide between the two- market share or profits.

2. Get a mention online.

3. Offline expansion is now required.


1. Lost the advantage that was acquired with an entry through online with much fanfare and good results. With price specification ratio like Xiaomi, play on the strength – online.

2. Get out of the ZD/SD mode of distribution. Go city-wise. Do it now as there is still some pull and distributors will come to you. It may be a different story tomorrow with Xiaomi/Vivo becoming more active.

3. Seems a frontal attack has not worked to the extent it should have. Go for Guerrilla attack with dynamic tactics. Don’t be predictable and be called a xxxxxxx 😊

4. Say less do more. Numbers will speak in the end.


1. The share will only increase as mentioned earlier. So not much scope to take share from others. Not much water left in this bucket.

2. Anyone losing now is someone else’s gain. A point lost to competition increases the gap by two points.

1. Lost the advantage that was acquired with entry through online with much fanfare and good results. With price specification ratio like Xiaomi, play on the strength – online.

Normal organic growth a doubtful possibility this year due to the Coronavirus issue which may lead to a NO GROWTH situation. Market share will in any case come under severe pressure as “Others” moves up. One cannot just stand on the escalator like previous years. One has to now run on it.

While on the subject, on the flipside, who loses if Samsung hits back – the BBK group unless Xiaomi makes some big mistakes. Who in the BBK group, is left for you to decide.

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Mar 09, 2020

Thank you Sir for sharing this analysis. It was really a great read..

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