For the first time country’s smart phone market fell by 4 percent in the October-December period last year as compared with the previous quarter, even as handset maker Samsung retains its top position as leading vendor with 22 percent share, research firm IDC said today. Also Read - Indian smartphone market grew by 10 percent in 2018 as Xiaomi lead the charge: Canalys
According to IDC’s latest quarterly report, total shipments of smart phones during the fourth quarter were about 22.5 million. The Korean handset maker Samsung, which had a 24 percent share of the India smart phone market in July-September 2014 quarter, has been facing intense competition in India from domestic rivals like Micromax and Lava as well as global brands like Xiaomi and Motorola. In market share, Samsung is followed by Micromax at 18 percent, Intex (eight per cent), Lava (seven percent) and Xiaomi (four per cent). “The smartphone market observed shipment contraction in Q4 for the first time ever (quarter-on quarter-basis). This was largely owing to a high channel inventory at the beginning of the quarter amongst general trade, which in turn was caused by the surge witnessed in online sales during festive season,” IDC said in a statement. Also Read - Indian government to postpone tariffs on imported smartphone touch panels: Report
The overall mobile phone shipments to India, which is one of the world’s fastest growing handset markets, witnessed a quarter-on-quarter drop of 11 percent to 64.3 million units in the period under review compared to the previous quarter. Year-on-year, the drop is 5 percent. The fourth quarter in 2014 was seen as a “correction phase” wherein the smart phone market declined by 4 percent, while the feature phone market tanked by around 14 per cent over July-September 2014, it added. Going ahead, IDC projects a sluggish January-March 2015. Yesterday, IDC said the Samsung has been dethroned as top tablet vendor in the Indian market by domestic firm iBall. Also Read - Micromax to foray into South Africa as it looks to boost international operations
Mumbai-based iBall overtook Samsung in the Indian tablet market with 15.6 percent share in the October-December quarter, which saw total shipments of 0.96 million units. Last month, another research firm Canalys said Micromax (22 percent share) had overtaken Samsung (20 percent) as number one seller in the last quarter of 2014. Samsung had refuted the report quoting other research firms like Counterpoint and GfK, which pegged the Korean firm as a leader in the Indian smartphone market. On Samsung, IDC said, “Samsung maintained its leadership position in Q4 2014. Apple posted stiff competition to Samsungduring this time. ‘Online exclusive’ brands are hurting the brand in the value for money category.” Micromax witnessed an inventory correction in Q4 2014 owing to high inventories pumped into the channels during the previous quarter (Q3 2014), it added.