Haranded’s Weblog

{May 14, 2008}   Samsung beats Motorola as India’s No. 3 mobile brand

KOLKATA: The January-March 2008 quarter has seen a change in the pecking order of the Indian mobile phone market. While Nokia is still enjoying leadership position by a huge margin followed by Sony Ericsson, there has been a change in the position for the third slot. Korean vendor Samsung has replaced Motorola to emerge as the third largest player in the Indian market.

Latest ORG data reveal that Samsung is the only prominent player to have increased its market share in the Indian market in the January-March period. It has gained market share from 5.7% in January to 7% in March. In the same period, Motorola India lost market share from 6.7% to 5.9%, but Sony Ericsson remained at the same level of 8.1%.

Even Finnish handset biggie Nokia lost market share in India from 72.3% to 69.5% between January and March. Nokia India managing director (mobile phones) D Shivakumar refused to comment on the issue. “As a policy, we do not comment on market share.” When contacted, Samsung Telecommunications India country head Sunil Dutt said: “In January-March, we registered a good growth in our mobile phone business based on our channel expansion programme, new product launches like the Guru 100, SGH-G800, Samsung i450 to name a few, as well as our brand activity involving Aamir Khan.” Samsung plans to double its Indian market share by end-2008 from the present level.

Motorola India director (marketing-mobile devices) Lloyd Mathias refused to comment on market share. “However, the only thing we can say is that there has been a rationalisation of our portfolio in India. We are not competing in all segments and the focus has moved towards mid-to-high end phones. In fact, our average selling prices have increased in India,” he said.

Motorola recently announced that its global handset shipment had seen a fall from 40.9 million phones in Q4 of 2007 to some 27.4 million handsets in Q1 of 2008. On the other hand, Samsung, which has become the world’s second largest handset vendor, plans to launch a series of new products at entry-level and premium segment to further consolidate its Indian share. Not only are existing vendors sprucing up their plans in the mid-to-high end phone segment, but even Apple’s much-hyped iPhone is set to debut in India towards end of the year.


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