That makes it less than 2% of the total, given that 60 million smartphones were shipped during the first six months of the year, in what is the world's second biggest smartphone market.
In sharp contrast, analyst firm Canalys said that Samsung shipped 17.4 million smartphones in the same period, while Xiaomi shipped a shade less than 19 million units.
Apple shipped 2.6 million iPhones in India in 2016, a rise of more than 50% compared to 2015. It did even better in 2017, shipping 3.2 million units.
The feature phone market did even better, at 21% growth year-on-year. Leading this portion of the market was the Jio brand manufactured by local telco Reliance.
Counterpoint analyst Karn Chauhan said: "Samsung has regained the leading position after ceding it to Xiaomi two quarters ago. The success of Samsung during the quarter can be attributed to its refreshed J-series; it launched more models than any other brand, across multiple price points, during the quarter.
"These new launches brought some of the most popular and sought-after features like, dual camera, infinity display, and facial unlock to different price segments for Samsung for the first time ever.
"Additionally, the strong offline distribution and aggressive marketing campaign around its J-series helped Samsung to gain not only market share but also mind share, during the quarter."
Chauhan said that the second half of 2018 was likely to be a close race between Samsung and Xiaomi — "especially during the upcoming festive season".
Some others findings of the Counterpoint team:
- "Vivo shipments increased sequentially driven by new launches, celebrity endorsement and aggressive campaign around IPL 2018. Its V9 became its most popular V series smartphone ever.
- "During the quarter OPPO launched its sub-brand Realme in a bid to increase its online presence. Realme which debuted in partnership with Amazon quickly managed to grab 1% share of the total smartphone market due to strong perceived value-for-money, unique industrial design and positive customer feedback for its initial model.
- "OnePlus (284%), Honor (188%) and Xiaomi (112%) were the fastest growing smartphone brands during the quarter. Honor continues to retain its share among top five brands while OnePlus led the premium (>INR30,000) segment for the first time ever.
- "Apple had a slow quarter as it underwent changes in its distribution strategy. Apart from this, its domestic assembling is yet to pick-up pace, which means the Cupertino giant is still relying on imports for its sales in India. Apple had 1% market share during the quarter, its lowest in recent history.
- "Lava is the only local brand that registered positive annual growth during the quarter, driven by entry-level models including its first Android Go device – Z50.
- "Transsion group led by iTel, Tecno, Infinix and Spice continues to grow in the smartphone segment in India. Tecno grew 74% sequentially as it brought full screen and facial unlock features at an entry level price during the quarter."
Graphics: courtesy Counterpoint Research