Micromax has remarkably ousted Samsung to become the first domestic vendor to take the top spot in the Indian smart phone market, the third largest in the world, according to research done by Canalys. This incredible performance is partly due to Micromax’s continuing appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smart phones. Its flagship line of products has also very effectively targeted the US$150 to US$200 (INR9,000 to INR12,000) segment, with products such as the Canvas Nitro and Canvas Hue. Addressing these important segments has helped it take a 22% share of the total smart phone market in India, ahead of Samsung at 20%. Canalys’ recently published estimates show that in Q4 2014 in India, 23% of shipments were of devices priced under US$100 (INR6,000), while 41% were of devices in the US$100 to US$200 bracket (INR6,000 to INR12,000).
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. Lava, another domestic vendor, has launched devices that cater to the preference for greater battery life – in this case a couple of days. But vital to success is selling these handsets at low price points to appeal to the bulging mid-level income market in India.”
Overall, the Indian market experienced very strong annual growth of 90%, with 21.6 million units shipping in the quarter. The other major local vendors continued to jostle for third and fourth places. The top four players in Q4 2014 in India by units shipped were Micromax, Samsung, Karbonn and Lava.