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Apple iPhone Selling Faster in India; Samsung Widens Lead at Top

Apple_SamsungApple is set to sell 1 million phones in India in double-quick time, boosted by demand for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, even as Korean rival Samsung expanded its lead in the world’s third-largest smartphone market, a research body said.

iPhone shipments in the first six months of Apple’s financial year that started in October fell “only a few thousand units short” of the 1 million mark, backed by a strong marketing push and consumer-enticing schemes such as easy monthly installments and buybacks, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research said.

Apple took almost 12 months to sell 1 million phones in its last financial year, Counterpoint said. Extrapolating the current growth trend, Apple’s sales may cross 2 million units in India in its current financial year.

ET had reported previously that the company would double sales in 2015 — and revenue toRs 8,000 crore — on strong demand for iPhones and its increased focus on the online market. Apple declined to comment on a specific query on achieving sales of 1 million units.

Samsung expanded its lead in the smartphone segment, which grew 21% from a year earlier, with over 20 million smartphones shipped during the January-March period. The Korean company had a 27.8% share of the Indian smartphone in the first quarter of 2015, up from 27.4% in the October-December period, although it was well below the 33.3% share it had a year ago.

Samsung widened the gap with Micromax, which saw its share fall sharply to 15.3% in the period from 19.5% in Q4 2014. Apple had a 2% market share in the quarter ended March in the smartphone segment.

“The (overall) market has shrunk due to seasonality and low sell-in from a couple of leading vendors that were sitting on inventory from the previous quarter,” senior analysts Tarun Pathak and Tina Lu from the agency said in a note on their blog on Thursday. The increase in import duty also led to decline as prices rose, Pathak added.

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