Apple beats Xiaomi to become No 6 handset maker in India

Apple has sailed past Xiaomi to become the 6th highest handset maker in India in terms of market share for Q4 2015. Samsung still ranks on top, followed by Micromax, Lenovo and Motorola, Intex and Lava.

According to IDC, Apple boasts of a 4.6% market share among India’s top 30 cities, while Xiaomi lags behind at 3.5% only. The former has apparently topped the over $300 (roughly Rs 20000) premium phone sector with a 42% share. The research firm speculates that the launch of the iPhone 6S and cut in price for the older iPhone 6, 6 Plus and 5S has helped the brand’s standing in the country.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

Surprisingly, Apple has even managed to maintain its No 6 ranking even among Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. These areas are traditionally associated with Indian handset vendors offering affordable options. The company only began focusing on strengthening its position in India recently, investing a considerable amount for marketing and even opening a development center here last month.

Apple’s India gamble seems to have paid off. Notably, Xiaomi had overtaken the brand in China last year, so this can be considered as a comeback of sorts for the US-based manufacturer in India. As per the IDC report, the top 30 cities in India account for 51% of the smartphone market. New Delhi generates the maximum amount of demand and is followed closely by Mumbai.

Also See: India jumps past US to become second largest smartphone market

The top 5 cities make up roughly 60% of online handset sales in India. IDC expects Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities to contribute significantly to smartphone sales in the future. The two currently hold a 21.3% market share, with a majority of demand being driven by affordable sub-$100 handsets.