Samsung cedes first place in smartphones in India

Samsung Electronics has been dethroned in India as the top vendor of smartphones by local Micromax after last year ceding its top place in total handset sales to its Indian counterpart there.

According to UK consultancy Canalys, Micromax was the top seller of smartphones in India during the fourth quarter, while South Korean tech giant Samsung fell to second place.

The two were near level in selling more than 4 million units during the quarter, with Micromax securing 22 percent market share and Samsung 20 percent.

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(Image: Micromax)

"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," Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said in a statement.

"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."

The consultancy said that 23 percent of shipments were of devices priced under $100, while 41 percent were of devices in the $100 to $200 bracket. It's important to target the latter price zone to appeal to local middle classes, it said.

Samsung recently launched its Tizen-running Z1 smartphone in India, priced under $100, while also unveiling budget models such as the Galaxy A5 and A3 to defend its shares in emerging markets such as India and, more importantly, China.

Meanwhile, total smartphone shipments in India grew 90 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, to 21.6 million.

Source: ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)