South Korean handset maker Samsung continued to retain its top position in the Indian smartphone market in the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2014, a report by International Data Corporation (IDC) said Tuesday.
Samsung mopped up 22 percent of the market share followed by Micromax 18 percent, Intex eight percent, Lava seven percent, Xiaomi four percent and the rest 41 percent by others.
According to IDC India, the smartphone market observed shipment contraction in Q4 for the first time ever (quarter-on-quarter basis).
"This was largely owing to a high channel inventory at the beginning of the quarter amongst general trade which in turn was caused by the surge witnessed in online sales during festive season," the statement here by IDC said.
The fourth quarter of 2014 was seen as a correction phase wherein the smartphone market declined by 4 percent while the feature phone market plummeted by approximately 14 percent over the third quarter (July-September) 2014.
The overall mobile phone market stood at 64.3 million units in Q4 2014, which reflects a sequential drop of 11 percent over Q3 2014 and an annual drop of five percent.
"Feature phone to smartphone migration trend is clearly visible. Smartphones formed a healthy 35 percent of the overall mobile business in Q4 2014, which is up by 13 percent from a year ago, that is, Q4 2013," the report added.
"Smartphone vendors are quick in gauging the consumer demand for 4G handsets. In percentage terms, 4G handsets are still in single digit. But vendors who are not yet ready with the 4G portfolio are likely to miss the next wave of smartphone growth story." Karan Thakkar, senior market analyst, IDC India said.
IDC anticipates a sluggish first quarter (January-March) 2015. However, a few global vendors which were in the inventory correction phase until now are likely to exhibit big shipment numbers starting Q1.
"Operators are gearing up for 4G network rollout. For vendors and ecosystem partners, greater emphasis on 4G enabled handsets at competitive price points will be the order of the day. End-users' desire to upgrade and keeping abreast with the latest technology, will continue to drive a strong growth for the smartphone market in 2015," Kiran Kumar, research manager, Client Devices, IDC India said.