Research firm Canalys has released its findings for Q4 2014 smartphone shipments in India. The data shows that Micromax has now surpassed Samsung to claim top spot in the country, as its smartphone shipments reached 4.6 million units in the previous quarter.
Overall sales in the region surged 90 percent year on year to reach 21.6 million smartphones in the last quarter. Micromax accounted for 22 percent of smartphone sales in India in Q4 2014, while Samsung’s 4.4 million units grabbed 20 percent of the regional sales. Karbonn and Lava followed behind in third and fourth place, accumulating 2 million and 1.8 million units respectively. However, sales from other retailers leapt up two million units between the third and fourth quarter, reaching 9 million in total in Q4. The Indian smartphone market is still very diverse, with a number of low-cost players all vying for market positions.
Canalys also estimates that nearly a quarter of smartphones sold in India were priced at under $100, while 41 percent of sales fell into the $100-$200 category. However, Samsung’s Tizen powered Z smartphone, which costs just $92, seems to have received a frosty reception. Micromax has done a particularly good job at “continuing appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smartphones”, according to Canalys, but its latest Cyanogen powered Yureka is facing increased competition from other low-cost brands, such as Xiaomi and Motorola.
However, Samsung disagrees with Canalys’ report. Instead, the company quoted a report from research firm GfK, which claims that Samsung’s volume market share was 34.3 percent in Q4 2014, substantially higher than Canalys suggests. Furthermore, Samsung claims that its market share is “more than double” that of Micromax.
It’s tough to know who to believe, especially with such a large discrepancy between the estimates. We saw a similar situation last year, where different research firms again posted conflicting results for Micromax and Samsung. The true figure probably lies somewhere between the two.
India’s booming handset market is a new gold rush for savvy smartphone brands and there’s clearly plenty of competition between the regional players and the big global brands.