Indian phone buyers decide home is where the heart is

Local hero Micromax takes top sales crown from usual suspects

Cheap kit kat

In most of the world, Samsung, Apple and MicroNokia battle it out for the crown as the top-selling mobile phone vendor.

But in India, local hero Micromax has just taken the crown according to channel-centric analyst firm Canalys which reckons it has 22 per cent of the market, ahead of Samsung's 20 per cent.

Canalys reckons the firm is winning because it recognises Indians' preference for phones in the nation's many local languages. It's also hitting the right price points to succeed in India, where the firm says 23 per cent of phone shipments retail under US$100 (INR6,000) and 41 per cent sell for between that figure and US$200.

The firm notes that other Indian firms such as Karbonn and Lava are also innovating for local conditions, for example with larger batteries to serve those in locales where power supplies aren't ubiquitous or reliable.

21.6 million phones shipped in India during 2014's last quarter, the firm said, with annual growth topping 90 per cent.

That growth makes it plain that the "next billion" users so coveted by the likes of Samsung and Microsoft are buying new phones. Micromax's success shows that the global companies won't necessarily have things their own way. ®

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