Samsung replaces Nokia as #1 cellphone in India

21 Aug,2013

By A Correspondent


The Indian mobile handset market posted revenues of Rs 35,946 crore in FY 13 compared to Rs 31,330 crore in FY12 showing a growth of 14.7%. This was mainly due to the increasing uptake in smartphones by the Indian consumers.


The 18th annual survey ‘V&D 100’ by Voice&Data magazine covered over 30 mobile handset companies doing business in India across categories like feature phones, multimedia phones, enterprise phones and smartphones. Both multinational and Indian mobile phone firms were surveyed for this report.


The biggest surprise of the year was Korean electronics maker Samsung dethroned Nokia from the top position. The Finnish handset maker had been holding the fort for over a decade.


Samsung’s rise in the Indian market is attributed to its rich product portfolio that was able to cater to customers of all budget categories. Samsung handset prices range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 50,000. Samsung mobile handsets come in varied screen sizes. These two factors helped the company grabbing customer’s attention, besides the product quality and new features.


Samsung ended the year with revenues of Rs 11,328 crore compared to Rs 7,891 crore in FY12 showing a growth of 43.6%. The company also became the market leader with 31.5% market share.


The former leader of the Indian mobile phone market Nokia dropped a rank to be placed at No 2 in the Voice&Data survey with 27.2% market share with a significant 18% drop in revenue.


In the 12 months ended March 2013, Nokia revenues from Indian operations were placed at Rs 9,780 crore compared to Rs 11,925 crore in FY12. The revenue loss at Nokia has been staring at Nokia worldwide in view of a few strategic missteps. Nokia’s drop in market share started when the company failed to sense the need of a dual-SIM phone for the Indian consumer, and the same was tapped by the Indian players years ahead of global players like Nokia.


On a global ground, not embracing the most popular and most accepted operating system – android – for its Smartphones, gives its potential customers very little choice.


Nokia’s Lumia series phones that witnessed huge growth globally in the initial phases could not draw much attention in India.


“The rise of smaller local players like Micromax, Karbon, Lava, and Zen is a clear indication that consumers want cheaper feature rich phones. The next phase of mobile penetration in the bottom of the pyramid India will be driven by these companies,” says Ibrahim Ahmad, Group Editor of Voice&Data.


Homegrown handset company Micromax captured #3 position among V&D100 Top10 mobile handset brands for the year 2013. Though it performed pretty badly in FY12 and the first quarter of FY13, through some smart thinking and innovative products, the Gurgaon-headquartered phone maker grew by 58.6%. By the end of the last fiscal, the company posted revenues of Rs 3,138 crore compared to Rs 1,978 crore in FY12. With this Micromax enjoys a market share of 8.7%.


Closing in next is Karbonn Mobiles, the company among the Indian handset players that grew most consistently. In FY13, Karbonn grew by 73.1% to register revenues of Rs 2,297 crore compared to Rs 1,327 crore in FY12. IN FY 2013 Karbonn grew by 32%.


With thism the Bengaluru-based UTL Group and Delhi based Jaina Group Joint-Venture Company, Karbonn captured a market share of 6.4% and is placed at #4 position in the table. Last year they were placed at #5.


Also making an entry into the Voice&Data Top10 table in the handset space is Apple that grew a mammoth 417.2% to post revenues of Rs 1,293 crore in FY13 compared to Rs 250 crore a year back. Though India was never a focus market for the Cupertino-based smart device maker till Steve Jobs’ era, in the last two years Apple has started making inroads, though slowly.


In the last fiscal, the company made some disruptive changes in its sales strategy which paid off. Appointing Ingram Micro and Redington as the national distributors for their entire sales, and offering EMI schemes to the consumers to buy the most coveted Apple product changed the game for them. The company now enjoys 3.6% market share in India with the smallest number of handset models in its portfolio.


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