Micromax is India No 1 in smartphones: Analyst

Micromax is India No 1 in smartphones: Analyst

Samsung disputes Canalys, says shipment numbers unreliable

Micromax is India No 1 in smartphones: Analyst

Homegrown telecom equipment manufacturer Micromax has toppled South Korea’s Samsung as the top player in the Indian smartphone market, which is the third largest in the world, according to Canalys, an independent analyst company.

It said Micromax had a 22 per cent share of the total smartphone market in India in the fourth quarter of 2014, as compared with 20 per cent for Samsung.

Canalys said in its report published on Tuesday that the performance is partly due to Micromax's continuing appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smartphones.

Its flagship line of products has also very effectively targeted the $150-$200 (Rs 9,000-12,000) segment, with products such as the Canvas Nitro and Canvas Hue.

Addressing these important segments has helped it take a 22% share of the total smartphone market in India, Canalys said. In total, 21.6 million smartphones were sold in India in the period, a 90 percent surge from a year earlier.

Samsung disputed the rankings, saying it was still a clear leader in the category with a volume market share of 34.3 per cent in the October-December 2014 quarter, citing data from market research firm GfK.

“The other report takes into account smartphone shipments. At Samsung we go by retail sales,” Asim Warsi, marketing vice president of Samsung’s India mobile business, told Reuters.

Samsung said it has a manufacturing facility in India, which could have resulted in a mismatch in calculating shipment levels.

A recently published estimate by Canalys had showed that 23 per cent of shipments in India in Q4 of 2014 were of devices priced under $100 (Rs 6,000) while 41 per cent were of devices in the $100-$200 bracket (Rs 6,000-12,000).

“Canalys believes 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 — in this case a couple of days. But vital to its success is selling these handsets at low price points to appeal to the bulging mid-level income market in India,” Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said.

Overall, the Indian market experienced very strong annual growth of 90 per cent, with 21.6 million units shipping in the quarter, Canalys said. The other major local vendors continued to jostle for third and fourth places.

The top four players in the fourth quarter, 2014, in India by units shipped were Micromax, Samsung, Karbonn and Lava. 
Micromax    22%
Samsung    20%
Sub-$100 devices    23%
$100-$200 devices    41%
Annual growth    90% 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox