Lenovo, Apple fastest smartphone brands in India, says Canalys

Lenovo and Apple were the two smartphone brands that grew the fastest in Q1, 2016 in India, while homegrown player Micromax was one of the biggest losers, according to research firm Canalys.Canalys' report says that the Indian smartphone market grew at 12 per cent yearly in Q1 with over 24.4 million shipments. While Samsung and Micromax remain the top two players, both are facing trouble.

In Samsung's case, Apple is starting to make inroads in the premium smartphone market segment, and the South-Korean company's share in this price-band (US$300 and above) fell from 66 per cent to 41 per cent. In contrast numbers show that Apple's market share grew to 29 per cent in the same segment, boosted in particular by the price-cuts for the iPhone 5s, which has become the most popular device in India, according to the research firm.Canalys calls Micromax the biggest loser along with BlackBerry, Sony and LG. Micromax's market share fell to 16.7 per cent in Q1 2016, according to the numbers."The rise of online channels, the arrival of new international vendors (particularly from China), the move to LTE and the desire for higher-quality devices have all had a big impact. Indian companies have struggled as incoming vendors have been quicker to address these trends. Micromax, in particular, has been through tough times, with key executives leaving. Now the company is aiming to revamp its strategy to incorporate an ecosystem of services around payments and content," said Ishan Dutt, Research Analyst at Canalys.Micromax recently announced two new flagship devices the Canvas 6 and Canvas 6 Pro along with its e-commerce store.Lenovo is another vendor that grew and saw shipments rise by 63 per cent on a yearly basis. Apple for its part saw overall shipments rise by 56 per cent, even though it remains in eighth place in India, according to Canalys' numbersBut Canalys warns that a lot of this growth for Apple is due to the price-cut for the iPhone 5s. "Apple's growth run could be short-lived. The 5s' success in India has more to do with affordability of a premium brand than a preference for smaller phones, and the move to the more expensive SE will discourage budget buyers. Also, the recent government regulation curbing discounts on smart phones sold by online platforms will affect demand," said Canalys Mobility Analyst Wilmer Ang.

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