It seemed inevitable and now it’s true. Handset manufacturer Micromax has beat Samsung to take the top spot in the Indian smart phone market in the fourth quarter of 2014 according to a study by research firm Canalsys.
Micromax now has 22% of the market share for smart phones compared to Samsung’s 20% in the Q4. The report adds that along with Micromax’s flagship products, the smartphones priced in the range of $150-200 such as the Canvas Nitro and the Canvas Hue helped it capture increased market share.
Canalys also says that in Q4 2014 in India, 23% of shipments were of devices priced under $100, while 41% were of devices in the $100 to $200 bracket.
Tizen vs YU phones
It is interesting to note that Samsung launched its Tizen phones in India priced at Rs 5,700 and said that it will manufacture its Tizen phones in its Noida facility and will expand to Bangladesh soon. A report by International Business Times suggests that the company may have sold 55,000 units since its launch in January. We wonder if the new Tizen phones can compete with Micromax on the low-end segment.
Meanwhile, Micromax seems to have identified another contender for the smart phone market and is taking on Xiaomi. Micromax launched a new online-only brand YU through newly formed subsidiary YU Televentures. It tied-up with the maker of the Android-based CyanogenMod ROMs mobile operating system Micromax mentions that it along with Cyanogen will be partnering several companies to build a layer of services on top of the operating system. Micromax also appointed Amarinder S Dhaliwal as the Chief Operating Officer for its YU brand.
Churn in top management at Samsung
Samsung’s declining numbers comes at a time where the company is seeing a lot of churn and restructuring in top management. It’s also worth noting in May 2014, Micromax had appointed former Samsung India mobile head Vineet Taneja as its Chief Executive Officer. Samsung CFO Sunil Goel also quit the company after a 17 year stint in October last year. An Economic Times report also cites two senior industry executives to suggest that Samsung India deputy managing director Ravinder Zutshi is retiring from the company.
Earlier in December 2014, Samsung appointed HyunChil Hong as the managing director of Samsung India & president of South West Asia. It was also reported that Samsung bosses were not happy with the company’s performance in India, especially in the mid-range and high-end smartphone segment.