Lenovo dislodges Micromax from 2nd spot in India smartphones biz

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Chinese tech-devices giant Lenovo has overtaken Micromax to become the second largest smartphone brand in India, Singapore-based analyst firm Canalys said. During the September quarter, shipment of Indian smartphone brands such as Micromax, Intex and Lava fell year-on-year, making way for Lenovo and Xiaomi to move up the ladder.
 

Another Chinese brand Xiaomi has captured the fourth spot in September quarter, the analyst firm noted. “Indian consumers are increasingly looking past local players’ smartphones in favour of international brands. There is ongoing portfolio consolidation as local players change their product strategies, emphasising the 4G-enabled models that are now becoming mainstream. Besides having a strong LTE portfolio, channel strategy is increasingly important for smartphone success. Lenovo’s focus on offline channels and Xiaomi’s move away from being an online-only vendor have clearly helped. Xiaomi’s shipments grew by almost 170 per cent year-on-year, with its strongest quarter taking it to fourth place in an increasingly competitive market,” said Rushabh Doshi, analyst at Canalys.

 

As per preliminary data from another analyst firm Counterpoint Research, share of Chinese brands has increased further in India at the cost of Indian firms and market leader, Samsung. During 2016, Chinese brands’ share has increased to 32 per cent at the end of September from 21 per cent during the January-March quarter.

 

Market share of Micromax, on other hand, fell to 9.8 per cent in September from 17 per cent in March quarter. Intex, the third largest brand till June, went down to the fifth position after its share fell to 6.4 per cent. Market leader Samsung lost more than seven per cent share — from 29 per cent in March to 21.6 per cent in September.

 

“The above-Rs 10,000 segment has become significant as an increasing number of consumers are upgrading their smartphones, unlike earlier when conversion from feature phones to smartphones used to be the key driver. This has thrown challenge to many popular brands, especially Indian-origin, operating in the market for long. Chinese brands have managed to come up with superior offering with value for money proposition in the Rs 10,000-15,000 price range,” said Faisal Kawoosa, general manager, telecom and semitronics at CyberMedia Research.

 

According to Doshi, Lenovo’s focus on offline channels and Xiaomi’s move away from being an online-only vendor have paid off. “Xiaomi’s shipments grew by almost 170 per cent year-on-year, with its strongest quarter taking it to fourth place in an increasingly competitive market,” said Rushabh Doshi, analyst, Canalys. “Despite its smartphone shipments halving, Micromax held onto third place, but it is coming under pressure from Xiaomi and fifth-placed Lyf,” he said.

 

According to a note issued by Canalys, smartphone market grew 20 per cent year-on-year during the quarter to cross 30 million units. Samsung held on to the top slot with “a share of just over 20 per cent”.


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