Samsung Electronics is planning a comeback in India’s smartphone market, which is currently predominated by the Chinese players. Samsung is to pave its way with the array of budget devices. The company focuses on enhancing digital presence while aiming to regain its market share.
Samsung was once considered as an unrivalled leader in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, India. But unfortunately, over the past three years, Samsung lost Indian customers to Chinese brands, whose devices were perceived to be providing better value for money. But India still accounts for some $7.5 billion in annual retail smartphone revenues for Samsung, making it the company’s biggest market.
The current anti-China sentiment is proving to be very beneficial for Samsung as it is the only major non-Chinese player in the budget segment. Samsung has already begun experiencing the effect of the change in people’s choices. Samsung Phone has witnessed an improvement in its sales and an increase in attention since it all started.
According to the technological researcher Counterpoint, in the second quarter of 2020, Samsung has jumped to the second position with a 26 percent market share, while Xiaomi is still leading at 29 percent.
While in the previous quarter, Samsung Phone was in the third spot in the Indian market with a market share of 16 percent.
“Samsung is India’s No.2 smartphone brand after Apple by image,” brand strategist Harish Bijoor said. “So a phone priced between ₹6,000 to ₹15,000 by Samsung is very well placed today to capture market share from Chinese rivals.”
The major factors responsible for such results is the company’s diverse and in-house supply chain, which was sturdy and helped the company avoid product delays suffered by rivals during coronavirus lockdown.
Samsung holds the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing plant on the outskirts of New Delhi, where it tests new devices and often assembles them for export.
Samsung’s ability to source many components internally helped the company provide an edge over its rivals, Xiaomi, and Oppo.
Samsung is up to its speed with the launch of seven new Android smartphones since June, three of them below ₹10,000 ($133.63), including its cheapest offering at ₹5600 ($75).
“The COVID crisis has pushed people to use smartphones for everything from online education to digital payments to even connecting with friends on video calls. That’s why these budget phones are focused on the mass market,” said a source familiar with Samsung’s strategy in India.
In May, Samsung partnered with Facebook to educate approximately 200,000 brick and mortar stores selling its phones to use social media for sales and marketing. It has also launched instalment-payment plans for customers and new incentive schemes, including one that gives student concessions on select devices.
As Samsung is taking efforts to increase the reach, so are its competitors. Xiaomi is banking on ‘Made in India’ image to beat the anti-China sentiment, which remains stiff. The recent deal between Reliance Industries Ltd and Google imposes a significant threat to Samsung. As the deal’s motive is to bring budgeted Android smartphones to every person, who couldn’t even afford to have a phone in today’s date.
Ganesh Salvi, a private sector employee from Satara town in western Maharashtra state, said, he had bought a Chinese branded phone for his 16-year-old son’s online classes last month, even though he dislikes purchasing Chinese products.
“I believe that the Samsung phone is more durable than Chinese phones and, I would certainly prefer them if they had more smartphones below ₹10,000.”
From the above statement, it is reflected that Samsung’s brand positioning is better than any other Chinese brand. It is just a matter of time, and the company may embark first place in the budgeted phone category.