Hellbent on preparing India to “make for the world”, DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics, said here on Wednesday that the company is once again refreshing its mid-price segment smartphones with flagship premium features for the upcoming festive quarter.
According to Koh, the fourth quarter (October-December) in India, which is a key market for the company, will see some exciting launches that will completely alter the course of the mid-segment market — a space that is currently flooded with Chinese variants.
“Since February this year, I have changed my strategy for the Indian market as the competition got tough and terrain harsh. We dominated in some areas while struggle in some during the course.
“You will see devices coming from us in the mid-segment space with flagship features and functionalities that will delight our customers in India,” Koh announced during a media round-table after unveiling Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in Delhi, his first flagship launch in the country.
Note 9 is being manufactured at the world’s largest mobile factory by Samsung in Noida. “India is already making smartphones for the country. Now we are pushing India to make for the world,” Koh noted.
Samsung is currently making 67 million smartphones in India. With the new 35-acre plant, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones.
Ecosystem of Devices
Not just smartphones, Koh said the company is going to offer a wide range of smart devices for its evolving Indian fans. “I am building a complete ecosystem of smart devices for the millennials in India. We are not concerned about the sales numbers but focus on creating a trust bond with our customers and partners in the country where we are the leader for years,” Koh emphasised.
Samsung dominated the premium smartphone segment in India in the first half of 2018 with almost half the market share, said a CyberMedia Research (CMR) report last week. Samsung (48 per cent) was followed by Chinese smartphone player OnePlus, which grabbed the second spot with 25 per cent share, and Apple with 22 per cent share. One in two premium smartphones shipped in the first half of 2018 was a Samsung device.
“Unlike others, Samsung is a full-range player and offers a complete range of devices. We have more to offer across the segment than any other vendor. This momentum will continue for the Indian market for the rest of the year,” said Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India.
Samsung made a comeback to the top in the overall Indian smartphone market and surpassed Xiaomi with 29 per cent share in the second quarter of 2018, said a recent Counterpoint Research report, adding that the refreshed Galaxy J series helped the South Korean giant achieve the leading position.
“With the Note series, Samsung has managed to lock in a user base which are hooked onto the flagship experience revolving around S Pen, which acts a focal point. Additionally, Note 9 can help Samsung target enterprise users and it is a significant upgrade over previous Note 8,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint, told IANS.
Samsung India sold over 20 lakh units of Galaxy J8 and J6 mid-segment smartphones in India, attracting nearly 50,000 consumers a day, the company said in July. Galaxy J6 was launched on May 22 while Galaxy J8 was introduced on July 1.
“Our philosophy of keeping our ears to the ground and incorporating consumer feedback into our products paid off,” Warsi added.
According to Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner, Galaxy Note 9 pushes further Note series with some innovative features and enhancements. “This device will drive loyal Note users to upgrade and raise brand visibility,” Gupta said.