Samsung vs Lenovo: Who’s the leader in the Indian online smartphone market?

NEW DELHI: South Korea’s Samsung has seized the top slot in the online sales channel in India, overtaking Lenovo-Motorola, with Chinese brand Xiaomi in the third spot. Lenovo, however, disagrees and still claims to be the leader in the Indian online smartphone market.

According to the data from Counterpoint Research, Samsung increased its share of the online sales to 23.8 percent in the quarter ended June from 22.5 percent in the previous quarter and 17.8 percent in the quarter ended December. In comparison, Lenovo had a share of 20.3 percent in online market in the April-June end quarter with sales of over nine million smartphones. The company had a leading 24.7 percent share in online market sales for the quarter ended December.

“Samsung launched specific models – Galaxy On series, and J series – in partnership with online players, and backed it with aggressive promotion,” said Counterpoint Research senior analyst Tarun Pathak.
Opposing Counterpoint’s data, a Lenovo spokesperson, citing data from research agency International Data Corporation (IDC), said Lenovo had a 19.18 percent market share in the June quarter — lower than its market share as per Counterpoint numbers but higher than any rivals.

Samsung and Lenovo, both equally depend on online sales. According to ET report, online market’s contribution in the smartphone sales fell from 37 percent in December last year to 32 percent as of June this year.

After the update in e-commerce rules in March that led to fewer discounts, prompting several online-only brands such as Xiaomi, LeEco, and Micromax’s Yu Televentures to also sell their devices offline, the growth for the online category as a whole has been muted over the last six months.

According to IDC, though, sales through the online channel are likely to pick up in the festive season with an array of expected new launches and offers.

Chinese brand Xiaomi has also clawed its way back to third place after a disappointing 2015. In the quarter ended June, Xiaomi increased its online share sequentially to move up a rung to No 3 with a 12.2 percent share, helped largely by sales of Redmi Note 3. The Chinese smartphone maker had trailed Indian rival Micromax in the previous quarter with 11.4percent share.

Manu Jain, head of India operations at Xiaomi said, “We have sold 1.75 million units of Redmi Note 3 since its launch five months ago. During Q2, we shipped a record-breaking 880,000 units in the online segment, almost twice the volume of the second highest-shipped smartphone in the online channel in India.”

Micromax and Asus settled for No 4 and No 5 positions but both lost share sequentially. Microsoft’s share dropped to 11.4 percent from 15.6 percent on-quarter, while Asus’ share slipped to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent.

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