Samsung dominates Indian handset market

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 18, 2014


Needs high-end blockbuster and better entry-level margins to sustain momentum

Samsung maintained its leadership position in the Indian mobile handset market with a 17 per cent market share and was an “outright” leader in the smartphone segment during the second quarter of this calendar year.

Now, with home-grown Micromax narrowing the gap, a likely change in pecking order is expected some time this year.

However, the South Korean handset manufacturer, which had been losing market share, needs a “blockbuster” product at the high end to regain momentum.

Entry level margins

Further, Samsung needs to work on the margins of the entry-level models to maintain its leadership, according to a study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Micromax — which unseated Nokia — came in second with a 14 per cent overall market share during the three-month period ended June 30.

Micromax growth

“While Samsung has held on to its leadership position in the market, it is noteworthy that Micromax is growing faster.

Samsung needs to continue to address the low-end of the market aggressively, and also needs a blockbuster product at the high-end to regain momentum,” said Jaideep Mehta, Vice-President and General Manager-South Asia, at IDC.

Samsung had a 20 per cent market share in the first quarter of this year, which has now slipped to 17 per cent.

On the contrary, Micromax has posted an increase in market share of 14 per cent from 12 per cent it posted in first quarter.

“Given the current growth rates, there is a real possibility of seeing vendor positions change in the remaining quarters this year,” Mehta added.

Earlier this month, Counterpoint Research said that Micromax surpassed Samsung Electronics to become the top mobile phone supplier in India in second quarter with a 17 per cent market share (13 per cent in Q1).

In the reporting quarter, the overall mobile phone market in the country stood at 63.21 million units, a 5 per cent increase from the sequential quarter ended March 31.

“We go by our own syndicated research, which is based on consumer offtake mapping. This data is very different from those studies,” Asim Warsi, vice president-sales (Mobile Business) at Samsung said. “We are very conscious of the leadership position we hold, while we continuously innovative and rollout new models for our customers,” Warsi added.Handset companies shipped a total of 18.42 million smartphones in the second quarter — an 84 per cent rise from 10.02 million in the same period of 2013.

Smartphone segment

In the smartphone segment, Samsung — with a 29 per cent market share in the second quarter — was the “outright” market leader, with volume support coming in from sub-$150 products such as Galaxy Star pro and Galaxy S Duos.

The pecking order was the same as that in first quarter of calendar 2014, even though Samsung’s market share fell from 35 per cent.

Micromax, with an 18 per cent market share, stood second and Karbonn at third position, with an 8 per cent market share, during the reporting quarter.

Published on August 18, 2014

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