Lenovo outshines Micromax to become No. 2 smartphone brand in India

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer Lenovo has overtaken home-grown handset maker Micromax to become the 2nd largest smartphone brand in India for the first time ever. India’s smartphone market grew by over 20% year on year in Q3 2016 as shipments broke the 30 million mark. While, Samsung continues to dominate its number 1 spot by maintaining its overall growth in the market with its share being a little over 20%.

According to the Singapore-based research firm Canalys, another China based company Xiaomi has climbed to the fourth spot in Indian market after it doubled its shipments in the September quarter. Xiaomi’s shipments grew by almost 170% year-on-year, with its strongest quarter taking it to fourth place in an increasingly competitive market.

While the Smartphone market in India has grown by 25%, many home-grown brands have suffered market share losses due to lack of innovation and high yield costs. Micromax’s market share reduced to 9.8% in September from 14.1% last quarter. Intex market share also came down from 8.4% to 6.4%.

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, emphasizing the 4G-enabled models that are now becoming mainstream. Besides having a strong LTE portfolio, channel strategy is increasingly important for smartphone success.

Rushabh Doshi, Analyst, Canalys, Singapore.

Lenovo’s focus on offline channels and Xiaomi’s move away from being an online-only vendor have clearly helped these two Chinese companies to grow in the Indian market.

Brands such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo, and Vivo have emerged as winners due to their focus on the mid-ranged smartphone segment, whereas the local brands have failed to capitalize in this segment. With Xiaomi on 4th place and Lyf on 5th place, Micromax need to rework on their strategies to save their place.

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