Micromax leads in booming online mobile sales in India

Micromax, which is placed third in the number of mobile phones sold in India, however, seems to be the hot favorite for those who buy their phones from online vendors, going by numbers from Snapdeal.com, one of India’s top online retailers.

The Gurgaon-based company is among the few Indian brands that has survived the initial boom and bust cycle and has risen to the number 3 position, below Samsung and Nokia.

The preferences of online buyers tends to be important as they represent the most technically savvy shoppers and early adopters. The trends seen online tends to propagate into the general market as well, as time goes by.

“The top 5 Mobile phone brands are Micromax, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and HTC,” said Snapdeal, which is perhaps among the top two online retailers in the cellphone category. The trends are based on sales and traffic seen on the website in the July–September period.

Gartner had, two months ago, given out second quarter numbers that clearly established Samsung as the market leader in mobile phones in India, with a nearly 50% share.

However, Micromax dominates the low-end market thanks to the extremely large number of models of phones it offers in the Rs 1,000-5,000 category. For example, on Flipkart.com, arguably India’s biggest e-retailer, Micromax has 97 phone models priced in the Rs 1000-5000 range, while Samsung has only 30. According to Snapdeal, 80% of the mobiles sold were priced below Rs 5,000.

The same story holds true in the tablet category, where Micromax has 9 models in the Rs 10,000-or-less category, while Samsung has none. A survey by CyberMedia Research had found that Micromax led the tablet market (in terms of volumes) with a 18.4% share, about 5 percentage points higher than Samsung.

The reason, again, is price. According to Snapdeal numbers, 95% of the tablets sold during the three months were priced below Rs 10,000. Not surprisingly, Android is the most preferred OS in Tablets with a market share of 94%.

“In the low price (Rs 10,000) Tablets category, Micromax has emerged as the clear leader with the brand’s Funbook range being the highest selling as well as the most searched tablet on Snapdeal.com,” the online retailer said in a statement.

What lends further credibility to the idea that online sales represent those of the tech-savvy, ‘early adopters’ is that about 50% of the sales of mobiles and tablets on snapdeal was made to consumers’ residing in Tier-I cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Indeed, Nokia tends to have a stronger brand value and loyalty in the rural and semi-urban markets, compared to the cities.

Growth in Tablets market outpaced the growth in Mobiles market by 3 times with Tablets sales growing at the rate of 33% month-on-month as compared to Mobiles sales growth at 11% month-on-month. In other words, online sales of tablets are increasing 33% every month.

“Indian Tablets brands like Zync, Penta and Intex are now finding greater acceptability amongst the online shoppers,” it said.