Samsung leads India’s smartphone market
Korean major Samsung maintained its leadership position in the Indian smartphone market with 22% share, but
the overall market shrunk for the first time ever as most handset makers had an inventory pile up at the start of the October-December period, market research firm IDC said.
“This (the fall) was largely owing to a high channel inventory at the beginning of the quarter amongst general trade which in turn was caused by the surge witnessed in online sales during festive season,” IDC said in a report.
The overall mobile phone market stood at 64.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, which reflects a sequential drop of 11% over Q3 and an on year drop of 5%.
Smartphones made up 35% of overall mobile phones business in the country, nearly three times of its share in same quarter in 2013. Samsung’s smartphone market share however went down two percentage points during the quarter due to stiff competition from Apple and online exclusive brands like Xiaomi and Motorola.
Xiaomi’s “online only” strategy has paid off well, which helped it to break in to the top five smartphone vendors in the country, despite of minor hiccups like temporary ban on a particular handset model. The brand held 4% market share in the fourth quarter, IDC said.
Micromax retained its second spot with 18% market share, down two percentage points due to an inventory correction in the quarter owing to high inventories pumped into the channels during the previous quarter.
Intex clinched the third spot, surpassing Lava during the quarter. Lava slipped to the fourth spot with 7% share, down one percentage point. Shipment contribution from vendors like Asus, Microsoft and HTC has witnessed traction in the recent past.
“In the current market scenario, there is a drive in demand for products pitched with high specification at low price points. This trend is likely to continue over the next 4 to 6 quarters, post which consumers are expected to turn back to the handset vendors who charge premium for quality,” Karan Thakkar, Senior Market Analyst at IDC India, said in the report.