Micromax challenging Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Meizu M3 Note, LeEco Le 1s Eco with new smartphone on May 16
Micromax challenging Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Meizu M3 Note, LeEco Le 1s Eco with new smartphone on May 16Reuters

Mobile handset company Micromax has for the first time earned a place for itself among the top three mobile handset brands in Russia, according to a report by Counterpoint Research.

Micromax had recently announced its plans to foray into new international markets.

"The biggest domestic Indian brand, Micromax, which expanded its operations in Eastern Europe a couple of years ago, is now reaping the benefits of distribution and marketing as it captured the third spot for the first time ever with 9 percent market share," the report said.

The report for Q4 2015 (October to December) said Russia's mobile phone market "grew 8 percent annually and 27 percent sequentially".

"Russia has over the years been a key market for mobile phone manufacturers, having a halo effect for performing brands in other countries within the region. While the Russian economy shrank 3.7 percent, a sharp dip since the global crisis in 2009 and as the rouble weakened, the overall mobile phone demand was surprisingly good," Peter Richardson, research director at Counterpoint Research told the Hindu. "This uptick was driven by a rise in cheaper feature phone demand during the quarter. The smartphone market was flat compared to last year. This is an interesting reverse trend which signals the demand for better and more affordable mobile devices, filling the demand gap."

The report said Chinese TCL-owned brand Alcatel One Touch captured the numero uno position during the quarter, beating Samsung, owing to stronger demand for its feature phones in Q4 2015.

"The rise in demand for affordable phones has been a blessing in disguise for Asian brands such as Alcatel OneTouch, which climbed to the number one spot, capturing 12 percent market share and growing 60 percent annually," Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research, told the daily. "Micromax also moved up the rankings to capture the third spot in Russia for the first time ever, growing more than 350 percent annually. This is an exciting time for challenger brands such as Micromax and Alcatel OneTouch to strengthen their brands in newer markets and moving up the global rankings."

The report said while Samsung was leading the overall market with a 17 percent share, its share fell from 21 percent a year ago.