Once again, the Korean giant has successfully retained the top position in the telecom infra market in India, with growth figure of 8.6%. This single digit growth rate could be treated as an early sign by the leader and come out with a robust counter plan to gain its dominance in the Smartphones. The year saw some major ups & downs for the brand. Despite leadership in revenue, Samsung’s share in terms of volume started declining, both in Mobile devices & Tablets.
Samsung slipped to 2nd position in smartphone ranking in the last quarter of 2017 but leads on a yearly horizon. In Tablets market, Lenovo took the lead in the financial year 2017-18. It faced challenges in competing with the aggressive pricing strategy of Xiaomi in India. However, the channel trust remains strong on brand and Samsung’s distribution strength remains strong too, even as other vendors approach retailers and channel partners with lucrative offers.
This helped Samsung again gain the lead in the 2nd quarter of 2018 with a 29% market share. The rise to the top was backed by the renewal of its mid-tier J series Android smartphones with high-in-demand features such as facial recognition and infinity display.
In addition to bringing new products to the market, Samsung also managed to play its marketing card well. In cricket-crazy India, it signed up as the principal sponsor for the Mumbai team during the Indian Premier League tournament in 2018.
The South Korean electronics firm is also responding by beefing up its own capacity to make phones in India. It inaugurated the world’s largest mobile factoryin July this year in Noida, NCR.Spanning over 32 acres, the Rs 4,915 crore ($738 million) factory will allow Samsung to nearly double the number of smartphones it makes in India every year from 68 million to 120 million by 2020, helping it launch new products and take them to the market faster.
Samsung India in March 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with premier engineering institute BITS Pilani to facilitate advanced learning for its employees at Samsung R&D Institute India-Noida (SRI-Noida).The R&D centre has developed several India specific innovations such as popular S-Bike Mode, Ultra Data Saving Mode, Social Camera, S Secure and S Power Planning. Many of these innovations have done well in global markets as well.
In tablets section, Samsung remains the leader in terms of revenue. Samsung’s Galaxy J Max remains their bestselling model followed by their newly launched Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) while it is growing in its Rs 15,000 price band of tablet market.
Samsung has recently developed smartphones running Tizen OS, as an alternative to its Android-based smartphones. Samsung’s latest mobile launch is the Galaxy A7 (2018). The smartphone was launched in September 2018. The phone comes with a 6.00-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2220 pixels.
Overall the company is trying to regain its strong position in the user devices market, along with showcasing the future devices like brining connectivity to consumer electronics like refrigerators. Another significant trend with Samsung has been to extensively work on the localisation of the products with its R&D team responsible for several innovations that are very relevant to Indian market. Samsung can take these learnings to other emerging markets as well, as the opportunity grows.