Lenovo, which sells Motorolaphones it bought from Google in 2014, has seen its position drop to No 5 in April-June 2017, from the second position last year, with market share also eroding to 7% from 9.6%, according to data from research firm IDC India. Xiaomi, in the meantime, is breathing down Samsung’s neck for the top spot in the burgeoning Indian market.
“That is a battle we need to win. Online is just 27% of the total market. We have a robust position there, but have growth left in offline which is why you will see us attack it more,” Aymar de Lencquesaing, executive vice president at Lenovo and chairman & president at Motorola.
While smartphone makers have tied up with e-commerce players to launch their products in recent times, it still constitutes a small part. About 73% of phones are bought from brick and mortar stores. “The next growth will come from there so we are increasing our distribution and setting up Moto Hub exclusive retail stores,” Sudhin Mathur, MD of Motorola Mobility India and country head of Lenovo Mobile, said. Rivals such as Xiaomi and OnePlus already have such stores in the country.
The stakes are high for Motorola in India, where it sells under both the Moto and Lenovo brands, unlike in the US and Europe, where only the Lenovo brand is sold. India, where it sells 12 million smartphones annually, ranks second in terms of volume, lagging only behind Brazil. In value, it is behind the US and Brazil.
“We are not seeing a slowdown in the market. Consumers are moving up in performance requirements and there is greater demand for phones priced around $150-350 dollars (Rs 9,750-22,750) than the $100-150 category (Rs 6,500-9,750). This is music to our ears as we are positioned there perfectly,” de Lencquesaing said.