Surging Lumia sales: Is Nokia staging a comeback in India?

Despite declining market share, Nokia is selling a more handsets quarter-on-quarter.

Nokia, which has been struggling against the dominance of Android in the Indian market for the past couple of years, seems to be slowly catching up in the smartphone space. According to statements given to us by Nokia India and figures released by International Data Corportation for the past four quarters in India, Nokia has seen a great increase in the number of shipments, but at the same time its market share is declining. Last quarter, it sold 8.8 million Lumia smartphones around the world.


We recently spoke to Vipul Mehrotra, Director, Nokia Smart Devices, IMEA who said Nokia has done exceedingly well over the past few quarters in India. He also expressed confidence on how the Microsoft-Nokia deal will further strengthen the overall Windows Phone ecosystem. But Mehrotra stopped short of giving us actual sales figures for Lumia phones in the country.

Now we know why Nokia chose Windows Phone

Market share declines, shipments increase



According to research firm IDC's quarterly reports, the Lumia market share in the Indian smartphone market over the past four quarters has declined from 8.79% in 2012 Q4 to 5.67% in 2013 Q1, 5.01% in 2013 Q2 and is at an even 5% in 2013 Q3. Though the market share has declined, Nokia has shown significant gain in the number of Lumia devices it has sold. Manasi Yadav, a Senior Market Analyst at IDC India told tech2, “The Lumia shipments in the market have been consistently growing and there is great positive buzz in the consumer market about the Lumia devices and the Windows 8 OS. I expect steady growth in their shipments over the next quarters as well.”



While we weren't given concrete sales and shipment figures by Nokia or IDC, we did manage to get an estimate based on the quarter-on-quarter figures for Nokia's market share and the overall smartphone sales.


According to IDC’s latest APEJ Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker for Q3 2013 that talks about smartphones cannibalising feature phones, vendors sold a total of 12.8 million smartphones in India. With 5 percent market share, Nokia's Lumia sales would be in the range of 6,40,000 units. In Q2 2013, Nokia, with 5.01 percent of the overall smartphone market share, would have sold around 4,66,000 Lumia units. While in the previous year, in Q4 2012, it sold 8.79 percent of overall smartphones (5.4 million) in the Indian market. So the approximate tally would be close to the Q2 2013 figure. This means Nokia Lumia devices have seen 34 percent increase in sales over Q4 last year and 37 percent compared to Q2 2013. This clearly indicates an upwards trend.


However, if you look at the market share, Nokia's share has reached stagnancy or is declining. This could be due to a number of factors, but a big one is that Indian companies like Micromax and Karbonn have eaten into Nokia’s share. In terms of market leaders, Nokia is among the top 5 smartphone makers in India and enjoys the fourth position in the overall market thanks to strong sales of its low-cost Asha phones. Talking about the Asha devices, Yadav said, “Asha range of devices has a sizeable chunk in Nokia's feature phone portfolio and the numbers for Asha devices have been growing as well - especially some top selling models such as the Nokia Asha 501 have boosted sales for Nokia in this space.” 


So Nokia is selling more and more phones each quarter, but is not able to capitalise on the momentum to build a healthier market share. What Nokia needs right now is more aggressive pricing for the higher-end models such as the Lumia 925 and the Lumia 1020, and more options in the budget space to go along with the forthcoming Lumia 525.

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