NEW DELHI (TIP): Low-cost mobile handset player Micromax has emerged as top smartphone seller, displacing Samsung in the fourth quarter of calendar 2014, a survey by a research firm showed on Wednesday, but the Korean giant contested the findings, saying it still maintains the pole position.


Research firm Canalys said Micromax finished the October-December 2014 quarter with a share of 22%whereas Samsung ended the period with 20%. “Micromax has been quicker than its competitors to improve the appeal of devices, for example, by including a wide variety of local languages,” Canalys analyst Rushabh Doshi said, while praising another local vendor, Lava, which launched certain devices with greater battery life in line with market’s requirements. “Vital to success is selling these handsets at low price points to appeal to the bulging mid-level income market in India.”¬†


Canalys said devices priced under Rs 6,000 accounted for 23% of smartphone shipments in the period, while Rs 6,000- 12,000 range, where Micromax had “strong products,” contributed 41%. This is the second instance in recent times that Samsung’s leadership in the Indian mobile phone market has been questioned. CounterPoint Research¬†had said in August last year that for the second quarter of 2014, Micromax had become the leader in India, which included feature and smartphones. It pegged Micromax’s share at 16.6% in the April-June ’14, while giving 14.4% to Samsung.

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Asim Warsi, marketing VP (mobile business) for Samsung India, however, disputed the findings of Canalys. “As per the findings of GfK India market research firm, our share and leadership is clear and robust for the fourth quarter of 2014 as well as for the full year,” he said.

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