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Published on : Feb 26, 2015

Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung maintained its leadership in the India smartphone market. The company recorded a 22 per cent share in Q4 of 2014. The overall market has however, shrunk for the first time in history. Most manufacturers of smartphones have had a pileup of inventories in the October to December period, as said by IDC, a market research firm.

The firm said that the slip was largely created due to a large channel of inventory at the onset of the quarter within general trade which was actually caused by the boost that was witnessed in the online sales during festive seasons.

Q4 was also seen as a phase of correction in which the smartphone market also fell 4 per cent while the feature phone market slipped 14 per cent in it.

The mobile phones market in India as a whole stood at 64.3 million units in Q4 of 2014. The number signifies a drop of more than 11 per cent in the third quarter and a 5 per cent on year drop.

Nearly 35 per cent of India’s mobile phones business is held by smartphones, a share which has grown three times since its number in the same quarter for 2013.

The Indian market share for Samsung however, slipped 2 per cent in the final quarter due to strong competition from its oldest rival Apple, and the online exclusive brands such as Motorola and Xiaomi.

The online exclusivity strategy played by Xiaomi has paid off quite well, analysts said, after news was released that Xiaomi had entered the top 5 smartphone supplier in India. They accomplished this despite a few obstacles such as a timed ban on a particular handset model. According to IDC, the manufacturer held 4 per cent of the Indian market share for smartphones.