New Delhi: Homegrown handset maker, Micromax has become India's biggest smartphone vendor, replacing Korean electronics giant Samsung, research firm Canalys said today.
In the recently concluded October-December 2014 quarter, the Gurgaon-headquartered firm controlled 22 per cent market share in smartphones shipments in India -- one of the world's largest market for handsets -- beating Samsung which had 20 per cent market share.
The Micromax Canvas HD is one of the company's most popular phones
"Micromax has remarkably ousted Samsung to become the first domestic vendor to take the top spot in the Indian smartphone market, the third largest in the world," Canalys said.
Micromax's flagship line of products has very effectively targeted the USD 150-200 (Rs 9,000-12,000) segment with products like Canvas Nitro and Canvas Hue, it added. The top four players in Q4 2014 in India by units shipped were Micromax, Samsung, Karbonn and Lava.
Overall, the Indian market experienced very strong annual growth of 90 per cent, with 21.6 million units shipped in the fourth quarter, Canalys said.
In Q4 2014 in India, 23 per cent of the shipments were of devices priced under USD 100 (Rs 6,000), while 41 per cent were of devices in the USD 100-200 bracket (Rs 6,000-12,000), it added.
"Addressing these important segments has helped it (Micromax) take 22 per cent share of the total smartphone market in India, ahead of Samsung at 20 per cent," Canalys 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," Canalys Analyst Rushabh Doshi said.
Lava, another domestic vendor, has launched devices that cater to the preference for greater battery life -- in this case a couple of days, he added.
"But vital to success is selling these handsets at low price points to appeal to the bulging mid-level income market in India," Doshi said.
Over the last few quarters, Samsung has gradually lost its market share in India to domestic players like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn as well as global rivals like Motorola and Xiaomi.
Globally too, Samsung has been facing tough competition from Apple and Chinese tech major Xiaomi. Its share in the smartphone market has also witnessed a decline in the past couple of years.
In 2014, Samsung had 24.5 per cent share of the global smartphone market, 31.3 per cent in 2013 and 30.3 per cent in 2012, according to research firm IDC.
As per IDC, Apple managed to close the gap with rival Samsung after nearly 3 years at number two position in the global smartphone market as iPhone sales increased in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as well as the US in Q4 2014.