Micromax beasts Samsung in sale of smartphones in India

Wednesday 11th February 2015 05:54 EST

Indian budget smartphone maker Micromax overtaken South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become the leading supplier in India's booming smartphone market for the first time in the fourth quarter, research firm Canalys said.

In a report issued on February 3, Canalys said Micromax accounted for 22% of smartphone sales in India in the October-December quarter, ahead of Samsung's 20%. In total, 21.6 million smartphones were sold in India in the period, a 90% surge from a year earlier. India, which has the world's second-highest number of mobile phone accounts after China, is the third-biggest market by number of smartphones sold. Low-priced smartphones are the top sellers in a country where many buyers are upgrading from feature phones.

Micromax's performance was partly due to its "continuing appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smartphones", Canalys said. It estimated nearly a quarter of smartphones sold in India in the fourth quarter were devices priced under $100, while 41% of devices sold were in the $100-$200 range.

Micromax and Samsung were followed by two other Indian budget smartphone brands, Karbonn and Lava, by number of handsets sold in fourth quarter, Canalys said. Responding to Canalys' report that positions Micromax as India's leading smartphone maker, Samsung has said that it continues to dominate the market with a 34.3% share in volume.

The South Korean giant cites GfK data which it says is based on actual sales (and not shipments) as the basis of its claim. Samsung's volume market share in the October-December 2014 quarter was 34.3% and the value market share was 35.8%, as per the report. Annually, Samsung's volume market share in the smartphone market was 35.7% while value share was 40.2%, as per the data.

Asim Warsi, vice president, marketing, Mobile business, Samsung India, said, "In the entire year 2014, we continued to lead the market with innovative and exciting offerings. Our volume market share in the smartphone market in the year was 35.7%, which is more than double than that of the next player, while our value share was 40.2%, which is more than four times the next player. The GfK data is based on actual retail sales in 50,000-plus population cities."

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