Samsung will be launching a budget smartphone in India prior to putting the Smartphone on the global market. The earlier release is to help it combat the recent dominance of Chinese rival, Xiaomi in what is the world’s second-biggest mobile phone market.
Samsung las trailed Xiaomi in two of the last three 2018 quarters in terms of shipments in the Indian market. This fact was reported by technology researcher Counterpoint.
Samsung will be selling the M-series only through its own website and Amazon.com’s Indian operation. The South Korean company hopes this will double online sales, the head of Samsung’s Indian mobile business told Reuters.
‘The M series has been built around and incepted around Indian millennial consumers,’ Asim Warsi said, adding that the phones will be rolled out globally after the Indian launch at the end of January.
He declined to give specifics but said that online sales account for a double-digit percentage of the company’s overall mobile phone revenue.
Samsung’s mobile phone sales in India touched 373.5 billion rupees ($5.3 billion) in the 12 months to end-March 2018, according to regulatory filings sourced by paper.vc, a business intelligence platform.
The India-made phones, priced from less than 10,000 rupees ($141.80) up to 20,000 rupees, will carry chunkier batteries and features such as quick charging, Warsi said.
Samsung has been sharpening its focus on India, home to more than a billion wireless subscribers and where roughly 350 million users still do not use smartphones.
Last year it opened what it said was the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Indian Capital New Delhi. It also situated its biggest mobile phone store globally in Bengaluru.
‘A lot of our insights, R&D and developments for consumers in India … they have great connect with many other consumers in many other parts of the world,’ Warsi said.
Samsung’s Indian business sells its phones through 250,000 retail outlets and more than 2,000 exclusive stores, with support offered by 2,000 service centers.
($1 = 70.5200 Indian rupees)