The latest report by International Data Corporation’s (IDC) on the Indian mobile phone market for the second quarter indicates Samsung's market share fell to 26 percent while home-grown manufacturer Micromax continues to strengthen its number two position with a 22 percent market share.
Overall in India vendors shipped 9.3 million smartphones for Q2 of 2013 compared to 3.5 million units in the same period of 2012.
The report also says that in the Indian market 'phablets' are the rage and smartphones with 5-inch and bigger screens grew 17 times when compared year-over-year.
“The growth in the India smartphone market is driven by consistent performance by local vendors who accounted for more than half of the total smartphone market in 2Q13. These vendors have been scaling up operations owing to rising migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones,” says Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst with IDC India.
"The key for growth in this market, as with most emerging markets, is a low-priced phone equipped with a large screen and dual SIM slots," says Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst with IDC's Client Devices group.
"The dual SIM phenomena, which had accelerated the growth of local vendors in feature phone, turned to dual SIM smartphones flooding the Indian market."
The report says that the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Star is doing well for the South-Korean firm boosting volume sales. The smartphone is priced at Rs 4999.
Samsung currently has a market share of 26 percent, which is a fall given that Samsung had a 32.7 percent market share in Q1 of 2013. The report also notes that Samsung's cash-back and zero percent EMI worked in its favour, specifically for the Galaxy Note II.
Micromax remains steady at No 2 spot and crossed the 2 million unit mark in shipments. Phablets and the Canvas Series helped boost Micromax's numbers. It now has a 22 percent market share which is much closer to Samsung.
Karbonn is the second Indian-manufacturer which is on the top five list with a 13 percent market share. In Q1 of 2013, Karbonn had a 10.9 percent market share. The report notes that the newly launched Titanium range is doing well in the price-sensitive market.
Nokia is at number four on the list with a 5 percent market share. Lumia 520 helped Nokia pick up volumes towards the lower end, notes the report. Lumia seems to be emerging as a new option for Indian consumers to choose from if they wish to avoid Android or Apple.
Sony is at number five with a 5 percent market share. The report notes that Sony's mid-tier range of phones is doing well. This includes Sony Xperia M (under Rs 15 k), Sony Xperia SP (under Rs 25 k) and Sony Xperia E (under Rs 10k) Sony needs to add more phones to its portfolio, across a wider price-range, if it hopes to beat Nokia.
For Samsung, news that local vendor Micromax is steadily gaining could be worrisome. The Canvas 4 for instance offered some of the software features such as 'Blow to Unlock', 'Smart Pause while watching video', etc that are there in Galaxy S4. However, the Micromax phone offers it at half the price.
The Canvas 4 is priced at Rs 17,999 while the Samsung Galaxy S4 is currently retailing at Rs 33, 799. Even Samsung's complementary range of Galaxy S4 phones such as the Zoom and the S4 Mini were priced at Rs 29,990 and and Rs 27,000 which is much higher than any of the Karbonn or Micromax phones.
Indian vendors are offering quad-core phones with 5-inch and bigger screens for half the price that Samsung is. Micromax's growth is therefore not a big surprise.