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India smartphone growth slips; Samsung still at top: Report

August 18, 2014 17:49 IST

India, the fastest growing smartphone market in Asia Pacific, is witnessing a weaker pace of growth at 84 per cent year-on-year compared to the triple digit expansion seen in the first quarter this year.

During the April-June quarter, smartphone shipment in the world's second most populous market grew 84 per cent to 18.42 million units from 10.02 million units (in April-June 2013 quarter), research firm IDC said.

Compared to this, sales had zoomed 186 per cent in January-March 2014 to 17.59 million units compared to sales in the same quarter of the previous year.

IDC said Korean handset maker Samsung still continues to lead the smartphone market with 29 per cent share, followed by Micromax 18 per cent, Karbonn 8 per cent and Lava six per cent.

"While Samsung has held on to its leadership position in the market, it is noteworthy that Micromax is growing faster.

Samsung needs to continue to address the low-end of the market aggressively, and also needs a blockbuster product at the high end to regain momentum," IDC Vice President and General Manager South Asia Jaideep said.

Given the current growth rates, there is a real possibility of seeing vendor positions change in the remaining quarters this year, he added.

However, IDC believes the potential for growth in the smartphone market is still "quite high" as 71 per cent of the market continues to be on feature phones.

Also, the festive season ahead and continuous run rate buying from the consumer is expected to fuel growth in the smartphone segment.

"The overall India mobile phone market stood at 63.21 million units in Q2 2014 ie a 5 per cent quarter on quarter growth against Q1 2014.

Back to back volume growth in the smartphone market are being noted due to the re-defined low price models in smartphones and continuous migration from feature phones to smartphones," IDC said.

The share of sub-USD 200 smartphones (about Rs 12,000) is also increasing (81 per cent in Q2 2014), it added.

"With the influx of Chinese vendors and Mozilla's plans to enter the low end segment of the smartphone market will become crucial in the coming quarters," IDC said.

Also, the contribution of 'phablets' (5.5 inch - 6.99 inch screen size) in Q2 2014 comprised 5.4 per cent of the overall smartphone segment.

It segment grew by 20 per cent q-o-q in terms of volume.

Among the top five vendors, Micromax (18 per cent) and Lava (54 per cent) were the only ones to have outstripped the market growth.

"Micromax not only toppled Nokia to clinch the second spot but also created a gap between the second and the third spot," IDC said.

IDC further said a new entry-level price point is being breached by the Indian home grown vendors every quarter.

"These devices are not equipped with high end specifications and RAM is typically 256 MB.

This ultra low cost segment may not sound a viable option to the repeat buyers, but it works well on the targeted segment," IDC India Senior Market Analyst Karan Thakkar said.

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