Chinese smartphone manufacturer Lenovo has overtaken home-grown handset maker Micromax to become the second largest smartphone brand in India for the first time ever, according to Singapore-based research firm Canalys.
China-based Xaiomi climbed to the fourth spot after it doubled its shipments in the September quarter. Xiaomi’s shipments grew by almost 170% year-on-year, with its strongest quarter taking it to fourth place in an increasingly competitive market the report said.
Preliminary data from market research firm Counterpoint Research showed the smartphone market has grown a healthy 25% y-o-y and 21% Q-o-Q in the three months to september, a quarterly record high. An analyst from the firm confirmed Micromax has retained its second position, albeit encountering significant loss in market share.
“Lenovo’s focus on offline channels and Xiaomi’s move away from being an online-only vendor have clearly helped,” analysts pointed out.
The firm’s report indicated that smartphone shipments in the country grew by over 20% year-on-year in Q3FY16 crossing the 30 million mark. However, shipments from local players such as Micromax, Intex, and Lava fell y-o-y.
Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said Indian consumers appear to be buying Chinese handsets and that 4G-enabled models that are now becoming mainstream. “Besides having a strong LTE portfolio, channel strategy is increasingly important for smartphone success,” Doshi said.
Collectively Micromax, Lava, and Intex lost almost 6% market share sequentially. Micromax’s market share fell sharply to 9.8% in September from 14.1% last quarter. Intex market share also came down from 8.4% to 6.4%.
Brands such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo, and Vivo have emerged as winners due to their focus on the mid-ranged smartphone segment, which has been gaining significant momentum in India. Chinese brands managed to gain 32% collectively as opposed to last quarter’s 27%.
Market leader Samsung’s share also slipped sequentially from the Q2 2016 peak of 26% to 21.6%, due to increased market share of these Chinese players.
Tarun Pathak, Counterpoint research analyst, said, “Indian smartphone makers are facing losses due to the absence of mobile phones in the R10,000-15,000 category and Chinese players are taking full advantage of the scenario.”
The author is Koustav Das.