In the first quarter of 2016, the country’s smartphone market grew by 12% year-on-year by shipping 24.4 million units. If we take a look at the top five brands, Samsung remained in the lead, followed by Micromax, Intex, Lenovo, and Lava, as per a report by independent analyst company Canalys.
By introducing the value-for-money handsets and following offline channel strategy, Lenovo’s shipments were up 63% as compared to what the figure were in Q1 2015. However, Micromax, which managed to stay in top 5 slot, has been through tough times as the key executives left the organization. The company’s market share fell to 16.7% in Q1 2016. Micromax is now is aiming to revamp its strategy to incorporate an ecosystem of services around payments and content.
Apple, which remained at the eighth position during the period under review, continued to march towards the growth trajectory by increasing shipments by 56% to make it the second fastest-growing vendor in the top 10. According to Canalys Mobility Analyst Wilmer Ang, “Apple is outperforming the overall market in India, and still has great growth potential.”
The Cupertino-based tech giant is seriously challenging Samsung’s dominance of the premium segment. As per Canalys report, “For devices priced over Rs 20,000, Samsung’s market share slumped from 66% in Q1 2015 to 41% in Q1 2016, while Apple grew its market share from 11% to 29%.”
The reason behind this was that the iPhone 5s became the most popular Apple device in the market owing to the successive price cuts despite its smaller screen and outdated hardware. However, Wilmer Ang revealed, “Apple’s growth run could be short-lived. The 5s’ success in India has more to do with affordability of a premium brand than a preference for smaller phones, and the move to the more expensive SE will discourage budget buyers. Also, the recent government regulation curbing discounts on smart phones sold by online platforms will affect demand.”
On the other hand, established international brands Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and LG were the biggest losers as the market shifted toward low-cost and value-for-money handsets. Ishan Dutt, research analyst at Canalys, said, “Over the past 18 months, India’s smart phone market has been rocked by dramatic changes. The rise of online channels, the arrival of new international vendors (particularly from China), the move to LTE and the desire for higher-quality devices have all had a big impact. Indian companies have struggled as incoming vendors have been quicker to address these trends.”