Samsung claims it’s still leading phone seller in India, but barely holding on

For the second time this week, it’s been claimed that Samsung still leads in India with regards to smartphone vendors, while Micromax is steadily catching up. CyberMedia Research and Counterpoint have refuted the older Canalys report which puts the latter company at the top spot, above Samsung. As for the third biggest competitor in the market, there’s no clear winner since Lava, Intex and Karbonn were wrestling for this spot throughout 2014.

In spite of ruling the smartphone roost in 2014 in India, Samsung took some blows to the chin on two aspects. Apple gained ground in the premium segment, while a range of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Gionee and Oppo gave the South Korean favorite tough competition in the mid-range section. Micromax enjoyed a rise in its market share between April to June, and then suddenly continued moving at a level pace after that.

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Micromax may have hit a flat note after Q2 2014 because Xiaomi started rolling out its handsets in the country around the same time. During the whole of last year, Samsung boasted of a 16.5% share in mobile phone shipments, closely trailed by Micromax and Microsoft (Nokia) at 13.3%. But the former’s popularity plummeted steadily throughout 2014, even though the final results have crowned it as king.

Also see: Micromax claims to be top smartphone maker in India, Samsung thinks otherwise

CyberMedia Research also offers some more interesting insights apart from detailing the melee between Samsung, Micromax, Xiaomi and other OEMs. 95% of handsets sold in the Indian smartphone market in 2014, ran on Android. Between 30% and 40% of these had 1GB of RAM, 4-inch touchscreens and 1.2GHz processors. 34% of the total devices vended in the country were priced between Rs 5000 and Rs 10000.

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With rivals selling smartphones at aggressive prices and so much variety to compete against, Samsung is clearly feeling the pressure from all sides now. If the downward trend in its market share continues, Micromax or Xiaomi may be the ones to watch out for in 2015.