Samsung beats Lenovo to lead India 4G smartphone market in Q3

Indian smartphone market share in Q3 2015 by IDC
Samsung overtook Lenovo as the top 4G smartphone vendor in India during Q3 2015, according to market research firm IDC.

The Korean electronics major emerged as the biggest 4G player in India with its sub $150 LTE models such as Galaxy Grand Prime and Galaxy J2.

The 4G enabled devices have achieved almost a three-fold increase in unit shipments in the third quarter.

The IDC report did not mention about Apple, which tried to sell its latest smartphones.

4G fuels smartphone growth

Shipments of smartphones rose 21.4 percent to 28.3 million in the third quarter of 2015 – fuelled by the increase in demand for affordable 4G smartphones in India.

In the next one year, telecom network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Reliance Jio Infocomm will be spreading their 4G presence. Airtel has 4G presence in 330 towns, Idea Cellular will be covering 600 towns in H1 2016, Reliance Jio is investing $15 billion in its 4G venture, while Vodafone will have presence in limited locations in 5 telecom circles.

Samsung’s 13.1 percent sequential growth was primarily driven by the LTE based smartphones such as Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy J and Galaxy A series sold mainly through the retail channels. Samsung also focused on e-commerce channels for selling phones such as Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7.

The Indian telecom market is gearing up for the 4G launches considering the demand for displays with 5-inch or more smartphones. Smartphones with big screens will enable better video viewing experience if telecoms invest substantially in 4G networks.

“Almost one out of every two smartphones sold, had 5” plus displays,” says Jaipal Singh, market analyst, Client Devices. “Most of the popular models in the market today support 4G and have a large screen, and attractively priced at less than $200.”

Who is leading

Samsung, Micromax, Intex, Lenovo and Lava are the top five smartphone makers in India during the third quarter of 2015, said IDC.

The demand for the recently launched YU Phones has contributed to Micromax’s 4G phone business. YU faces strong competition from Chinese players in the online segment.

Intex, the third largest vendor with 9.4 percent growth, has witnessed sharp rise in shipments in sub $50 segment and also entry level 3G enabled devices.

Lenovo captured 9.5 percent of the smartphone market driven mainly by Lenovo’s K3 note, A6000 plus and Moto G 3rd Gen. The group also started local manufacturing of its smartphones in India to further strengthen their position in the Indian market.

Lava slipped to 5th place with a sequential drop of 2 percent in their vendor share over Q2 2015.

Lava shipments dropped 24.9 percent quarter on quarter. Its Xolo series continues to slide down. Lava has also not moved fast enough to capitalize on the fast growing 4G market or diversified their channel strategy in favor of online channels, said IDC.

The smartphone market report indicates that Sony, LG, Xioami, OPPO, Huawei, ZTE, etc. could not make any headway in India.

Smartphone market forecast

IDC expects the share of smartphone to outstrip the share of feature phone market in 2016 for India.

“Smartphones will maintain a healthy double-digit growth over the next few years,” said Kiran Kumar, research manager, IDC. “4G enabled devices are expected to be at the forefront, with the entire ecosystem preparing for this shift in the near future.”

Baburajan K
[email protected]