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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Samsung widens market share in India, remains No1 smartphone vendor: IDC

Samsung's gain came mainly at the expense of closest rival Micromax Informatics, says a report by the International Data Corporation

New Delhi: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has raised its share of India’s smartphone market by almost five percentage points in the December quarter, cementing its position as the number one vendor in the country.

Samsung’s gain came mainly at the expense of closest rival Micromax Informatics Ltd. Micromax’s market share fell by four percentage points in the quarter, according to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) released on Tuesday.

Samsung’s market share increased to 26.8% in the quarter, from 22% a year earlier. Micromax’s share fell to 14.1% from 18% in the same time frame.

This means that the Korean company not only maintained its lead over Micromax, but also has widened the gap in market shares between the two. Samsung’s four percentage point lead over Micromax widened to 12.7 percentage points.

Lenovo Group Ltd surpassed Intex Technologies Ltd to take the third position with a market share of 11.6%. Intex Technologies Ltd and Lava International Ltd took the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Smartphone shipments in India reached 25.6 million in the December quarter, up 15.4% from 22.2 million units in the same period a year ago, said the IDC report. However, sequentially, smartphone shipments dipped 11.9% owing to weaker shipments from key Indian vendors, it said.

The online share of smartphone shipments continued to increase on the success of mega sales by e-tailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India.

“Online share spiked to 37.3% in 2015 Q4, growing 2.5 times over the same period last year with almost half of the contribution coming from online exclusive models," said Karthik J., senior market analyst, client devices, IDC.

The report said that Chinese handset makers are looking for avenues to tap India’s growth potential as the smartphone market in their home market begins to slow.

“The online channel negates the need to set up a complex distribution network to reach target customers. Hence, it provides an easy medium for Chinese vendors to enter the Indian smartphone market," the report said. “However, most of these vendors are also looking at expanding their offline presence to gain further share in the India market."

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Chinese vendor’s smartphone shipments spiked 71% from a year ago.

Overall, in 2015, smartphone shipments to India grew 28.8% to reach 103.6 million. IDC expects smartphone shipments to increase at double-digit rates in 2016.

“The share of smartphones in the overall mobile phone market was around 40% in 2015 and given the current trend, smartphone sales would overtake feature phone sales in 2016," the report said. “Also, we expect 2016 to be a year of affordable 4G smartphones. By end of 2016, we expect at least one in two smartphones shipped in India to be a 4G enabled device."

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