Micromax is the second largest smartphone brand in India with a 22% market share, closely trailing Samsung at 26%, according to IDC. The homegrown smartphone brand is now gunning to topple Samsung by Diwali to become the largest smartphone player. According to IDC India, local smartphone brands now account for over half of all smartphone shipped into India, which is also the fastest growing and the third largest smartphone market in the world. So what is it that local players are doing right and global players like Samsung, Sony, LG and others are not?
Apart from being the third largest smartphone market, India is also the largest feature phone market in the world. Even though the market share of feature phones is declining, these low-cost phones still account for almost 85 percent of the overall mobile phone market, according to IDC India. Out of the total smartphone market, 67% of devices shipped are priced under $200. The biggest pie of the smartphone market, hence, lies in the low-cost devices targeting users who are upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone.
According to IDC India, the golden formula of the Indian smartphone space is to have a sub-$200 smartphone with a large display (phablets account for a third of all smartphones) and dual-SIM slots. This is something that local smartphone brands have caught on quickly while the global brands are yet to realize it. A quick search reveals that Samsung has just one, LG has a couple while Sony has no smartphone with a 4-inch or bigger display priced below Rs 10,000! And that is where most of the action is happening.
“The growth in the India smartphone market is driven by consistent performance by local vendors who accounted for more than half of the total smartphone market in 2Q13. These vendors have been scaling up operations owing to rising migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones,” says Manasi Yadav, senior market analyst with IDC India.