Micromax is now India’s largest smartphone vendor, according to international research firm Canalys. A report released on Wednesday gave the Indian manufacturer a 22% market share, ahead of the Korean tech giant, which has 20%. Canalys said the “incredible performance was partly due to Micromax’s continued appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smart phones.”
Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said, “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.”
However, Samsung countered the findings by citing research firm Gfk’s figures, which it claimed were “based on actual sales”.
“Samsung’s volume market share in the October-December 2014 quarter was 34.3% and the value market share was 35.8%,” a release said. It quoted Asim Warsi, vice-president, marketing, mobile business, Samsung India Electronics, as claiming that the company still “lead the market with innovative and exciting offerings”.
“Our volume share in the smartphone market was 35.7%, which is more than double that of the next player, while our value share was 40.2%, which is more than four times the next player. The GfK data are based on actual retail sales in 50,000-plus population cities,” he said. Micromax did not respond to a request for comments.
Canalys says Micromax’s flagship line of products like the Canvas Nitro and Canvas Hue “has very effectively targeted” the Rs 9,000-12,000 segment. As per its estimates for Q4 2014, 23% of shipments were of devices priced under Rs 6,000 while 41% were of devices for Rs 6,000-12,000.
“While Samsung has been innovative in the premium segment with the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series, they are yet to show strong innovation in the low-cost segment of the smartphone market. With an influx of high-spec affordable devices by Indian and Chinese vendors, and with each upping on the feature-set offered by its competitors, Samsung is quickly losing relevance in the mid-to-low price market as its share has been reducing gradually,” Doshi told IndianExpress.com.
He said India’s volume market mainly comprised users upgrading to a smart phone from a feature phone at an affordable price. With literally no competitive smart phones below Rs 12,000, Samsung has little to offer in the segment compared to Micromax, Lava or Karbonn. “Notably, the recently launched Galaxy Alpha series is almost twice as expensive as the Micromax Canvas Nitro.”