Micromax pips Samsung as India's leading mobile phone brand

MUMBAI - Indian budget smartphone maker Micromax has ousted Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as the leading brand in all types of mobile phones in the April-June quarter, grabbing a 16.6 per cent market share, a recent research report showed.

Samsung had 14.4 per cent market share, down from 16.3 per cent in the first quarter, said the report by Counterpoint Research. In the smartphone segment, however, Samsung still came out tops. "Micromax is leveraging its wider distribution reach, growing brand awareness not only in urban but in rural India with affordable low-cost handsets," said Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah.

In price sensitive India, local mobile phone makers like Micromax are successfully gaining market share with low cost phones.

These companies mostly use chipsets made by MediaTek , which tend to be cheaper than those made by industry leader Qualcomm Inc, and outsource production to China and Taiwan, instead of investing in manufacturing plants, further helping keep costs down.

Together, local Indian mobile phone manufacturers had about 32 per cent of the domestic market, according to the report, and more than two-thirds of the total shipments.

In the smartphone segment, Samsung still had the largest market share in terms of shipments, at 25.3 per cent during the second quarter while Micromax had 19.1 per cent.

But Samsung's dominance is slipping, Shah said, adding that in the first quarter, Samsung had a 33.3 per cent market share in smartphones, while Micromax had 16.7 per cent.

India ranks behind China and the United States in smartphone sales, with up to 90 million smartphones expected to be sold there this year, according to Counterpoint.