The maker of the iconic iPhone has grabbed the No. 6 spot in market share in India’s top 30 cities, which make up 51% of the smartphone market, edging past Xiaomi after taking rapid strides in the highly competitive market.
Apple captured the No. 6 slot even in the price-sensitive tier-2 and tier-3 cities, which are the traditional strongholds of Indian vendors, according to data for the October to December 2015 period from US market research firm International Data Corporation, which was reviewed by ET.
Apple topped the premium price segment of $300 (Rs 20,000) and above, with an over 42% share across the 30 cities following the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in the first half of the quarter and subsequent price drops of its earlier 5s, 6 and 6 Plus models, analysts at IDC said.
“Apple leads in top 30 cities in the premium segment, and in tier-2 and 3 cities, it has considerably narrowed the gap with the competition,” said Navkendar Singh, senior research manager at IDC India.
IDC classifies Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru as tier-1cities and the remaining 25, including state capitals, as tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Apple held a 4.6% share in the 30 cities, with Samsung Electronics and Micromax Informatics continuing to be top two players. I
In the tier-2 and 3 cities, Apple was sixth with a 2.8% share. Xiaomi had a 4.5% share in all 30 cities. “Smartphone consumers in tier-2 and tier-3 cities are becoming more aware and demanding devices with latest features, specifications, affordable prices and convenient buying options,” said Jaideep Mehta, managing director for IDC South Asia.
These lower-tier cities make up 21% of the Indian smartphone market, the second-largest after China by unique users, and constitute more than two-thirds of the sub-$100 (Rs 6,800) segment.
Apple, which didn’t consider India a major market until a few years ago, is now placing long-term bets on the country with plans to set up its own stores while offering buybacks, discounts and upgrades to get more users.
Lenovo-Motorola secured the No. 3 spot overall, followed by Intex and Lava. Intex was No. 3 with a 9.1% share in the lower-tier cities, ahead of Lenovo-Motorola and Lava. Apple and Xiaomi were not among IDC’s top-five companies by sales volumes for the entire Indian smartphone market.