Smartphone brand competition is heating up in India. These device brands are fighting to capture the attention of the 64% of the 168 million smartphone users in India using an Android device. Over the last 16 months, there’s been a shift in the market. Thanks to competition from local brands like Micromax and Lava, and Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo, Samsung’s market share is slipping in a country that is hungry for more options.
Competition is driving down Samsung’s market share
While Samsung is the major market leader in countries like Brazil, the brand has gained a lot of competition in India over the last year and a half. It’s market share has dropped from 43% in June 2014 to 31% in January 2016. One factor could be the desire for more affordable devices. For instance, a Xiaomi Redmi 2 costs less than $100 and Micromax’s flagship devices cost within $150-200, while some of the high-end Samsung Galaxy devices can cost upwards of $800, quite unobtainable for a large portion of the population in India.
Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo slowly gaining traction in a crowded market
Between August 2015 and January 2016, Xiaomi has gained 4% market share, a 3x increase in six months. Lenovo's market share also grew 2% over the same period of time, and has been consistently growing since we started measuring in June 2014. Both Chinese brands offer smartphone models that are feature-rich and financially attainable for many Indian users.
Sony and Motorola have had a bumpy road in India
Over the last year, Sony has been on a slow decline in India, dropping from 7% to 3% since June 2014. Even though Sony has a large number of models available, their average selling price is much higher than more affordable brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo. Perhaps that’s a major reason for their lost market share. Meanwhile, Motorola has been on a roller coaster, gaining 6% market share in five months and then losing 4% in the same amount of time. The brand has since leveled off to between 4-5% market share, but it may be too late for them as they get outpaced by local brands like Micromax.
Affordable smartphones are the key to capturing the Indian market
Many users in India are choosing brands like Lava and Micromax as they make their first smartphone purchases. If Samsung wants to increase their market share in India, they should consider offering more high-quality, affordable devices for their users in India, or risk losing more market share.
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