To take on the likes of Xiaomi, Micromax launched the YU smartphone brand, back in December last year. In less than a year, Counterpoint analysts say that YU overtook Xiaomi in smartphones sold online in the third quarter of this year.
This news comes days after Xiaomi was similarly leapfrogged by Huawei in its home market. In Q2, Xiaomi piped Apple to become the top smartphone vendor in China. But a quarter later Huawei has gone ahead for the first time.
In India, over 10 million smartphones were shipped in India in Q3, 2015 which marks a 20 percent rise year-on-year, and a 12 percent rise quarter-on-quarter. Xiaomi was not only overtaken by YU, but is also said to have seen a 46 percent decline in smartphone shipments during the quarter.
YU made its debut with the Yureka, and has since launched the Yuphoria, Yureka Plus and the affordable 4G-capable Yunique more recently. It is now gearing up to launch a flagship smartphone called Yutopia.
YU started out with an exclusive partnership with Amazon India, but has since also roped in Snapdeal to sell the Yunique. Xiaomi too started out with an exclusive partnership with Flipkart, but has since branched out to other e-commerce sites like Snapdeal and Amazon India, and also has a small presence offline. Counterpoint’s observation not only highlights YU’s strong growth since its inception, but is also a worrying sign for Xiaomi.
Samsung continues to lead the Indian smartphone market with a 23.2 percent smartphone market share, followed by Micromax with a 17.7 percent share. Intex came in third with a 12 percent share, while Lenovo/Motorola came in fourth on the back of strong sales of the Lenovo K3 Note.