India’a Micromax has pushed past Samsung in Q4 to become the first domestic vendor to take the top spot in the Indian smartphone market.
Micromax had a 22 per cent market share, while Samsung was second with a 20 per cent share, according to Canalys. Karbonn was third (9 per cent) and Lava was fourth (7 per cent). Micromax’s share increased 1 percentage point from Q3, Samsung’s dropped 2 points, Karbonn’s was the same and Lava’s fell 3 points.
Smartphone shipments during the quarter jumped 90 per cent to 21.6 million units. India is the third largest smartphone market in the world and the fastest growing, with shipments expected to reach more than 80 million last year — up from 44 million in 2013.
Canalys estimates that almost a quarter of smartphone shipments in the quarter were priced under $100 (INR6,000), while 41 per cent were in the $100-200 range (INR6,000-12,000).
Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said that catering to local market preferences will become increasingly important. “Micromax has been quicker than its competitors to improve the appeal of devices, for example, by including a wide variety of local languages on its Unite phones. Lava, another domestic vendor, has launched devices that cater to the preference for greater battery life.”
But the key to success, he noted, is selling handsets at low price points to attract the bulging mid-level income market in India. Micromax has appealed to users upgrading to smartphones and effectively targeted the $150-200 (INR9,000-12,000) segment with the Canvas Nitro and Canvas Hue, Doshi said.
The report comes just days after Samsung was displaced from the number two spot in China by Apple. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple had a 10.9 per cent market share in Q4, while Samsung’s dropped to 9.8 per cent. The South Korean firm lost the top spot in the mainland, which it held since 2011, to fast-rising Xiaomi in Q3.