Samsung is looking to reclaim the Indian smartphone market after years of domination by Chinese phone manufacturers. The Korean phone manufacturer will launch its budget-friendly M line of smartphones beginning January, 28th. This series should help Samsung compete with the likes of popular Chinese hardware brands including Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo.
Samsung says the M-series will eventually be a global series and won’t be exclusive to India. The country will be getting the phones first, however, and then Samsung will do a worldwide launch. Samsung will be selling the phones on their website as well as collaborating with Amazon for online sales in India.
Samsung will be launching three smartphones ranging in price from $100 (Rs 10,000) to $282 (Rs 20,000), according to Samsung India’s senior vice president Asim Warsi’s statement to Reuters.
Warsi said the phones will have bigger batteries and will support fast charging.
India is the world’s second-biggest market for smartphones behind China. Capturing this market will be a make or break situation for Samsung in Asia since Xiaomi has overtaken them as the leading smartphone brand in India.
The South Korean company’s market share by shipments lagged behind Xiaomi’s in two out of three quarters in India in 2018, according to data by CounterPoint Research.
Warsi told Reuters:
“The M series has been built around and incepted around Indian millennial consumers.”
Warsi did not go into further detail but said Samsung’s online smartphones sales accounted for double figures of the company’s overall sales. Online sales could be anywhere from 11 to 99 percent.
According to regulatory filings sourced by the business intelligence firm paper.vc, Samsung’s mobile phone sales in India reached 373.5 billion rupees ($5.3 billion) from end-March 2017 to end-March 2018. Paper.vc gives financial insights to top India’s business dailies and news websites.
India is home to more than a billion smartphones, and the market is rapidly growing due to population growth. Samsung India sells its phones through 250,000 retail outlets and more than 2,000 exclusive stores, with support offered by 2,000 service centers.
It was rumored that Samsung might kill off its J series of smartphones. As Samsung is looking to release its M series of smartphones, that rumor might be true. The M series may be a good replacement given what processor the smartphones come equipped with.
The M series might even help increase Samsung’s profits, which were down by nearly 30 percent in the last quarter of 2018 compared to Q4 of 2017.
As technology improves, the high-end flagship’s smartphones have become stagnant in terms of innovation. Smartphone manufacturers are instead trying to increase their market share by focusing on budget smartphones.
Samsung will have a tough task on its hands trying to break into a market dominated by Huawei, Xaomi, OnePlus, and even Nokia. Samsung will need to pull a rabbit out of its hat to make the M-series work.