Samsung races past Nokia in Indian handset shipments

Samsung races past Nokia in Indian handset shipmentsSamsung Galaxy S4

Global electronics giant Samsung has surpassed Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia in overall mobile phone shipments in India during the first quarter of this calendar year, international technology research firm IDC said on Thursday.
South Korean firm Samsung is already the world’s largest mobile phone maker, and it shipped 16% of the total phone shipments in India, whereas Nokia’s marketshare stood at 15% for the same period.

Indian vendors Micromax, Karbonn and Lava rounded up the other three spots in the top-five bracket in the market, which grew around 24% year-on-year, primarily driven by the surge in smartphone shipments. The smartphone market grew 74% in Q1 of 2013 over Q1 of 2012.
“Nokia has been focusing on smartphones as that is where the future sales, value and margins are,” IDC senior market analyst Manasi Yadav told FE. According to IDC, the share of smartphones in overall revenue of the phone market in India is close to 46% for Q1 of 2013 despite contributing only 10% to the volume/units.
Samsung was able to overtake Nokia only because of the superlative performance in smartphones, while it still lagged behind the Finnish manufacturer in feature phones with 14% share as against Nokia’s marketshare of 16%. According to Shiv Putcha, a principal consumer analyst with consulting firm Ovum, the industry is cyclical and Nokia is a company in transition. “They have been ramping down. Nokia did not have many new models in feature phones over the last year. Even in that segment, they are looking at higher-end Asha phones,” he said.
Nokia has been doing quite well in the smartphone segment with its Lumia brand garnering almost 6% of the marketshare even as Samsung dominated with a 33% share. IDC’s Yadav said that Samsung and Indian vendors have been launching 3-4 smartphone models every quarter and it may take some time for Nokia to catch up.

The total mobile handset market stood at around 6.1 crore units for the first quarter of the calendar year as against the total shipment of 5.9 crore units for the last quarter of 2012. The size of the feature phone market was 5.46 crore units in Q1 of 2013 as against 5.32 crore units in Q4 of 2012. Among the smartphones, around 61 lakh units were shipped in Q1 of 2013 as against 53 lakh units for the last quarter of 2012, a 14% quarter-on-quarter growth.
Also among the vendors selling handsets based on Google’s open sourced Android operating system (OS) which had 90% marketshare among smartphone OS, Samsung had been losing marketshare to local vendors. Samsung’s share of the Android OS-based smartphone makers had dropped from 58% to 50% over a quarter last year, according to Cybermedia research.
On the other hand, three other leading vendors of Android OS-based smartphones, Micromax, Sony Mobiles and Karbonn all witnessed an increase in their shipment shares during the same period. “While it is very likely that a user’s first choice for an Android smartphone was a Samsung, if he or she was looking for a replacement, their preference might shift in terms of vendor brand, in spite of remaining loyal to the Android OS,” Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst for Telecoms Practice with Cybermedia Research told FE.

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