Samsung to launch budget smartphones in India to take on Xiaomi

Asim Warsi, head of Samsung’s Indian mobile business

Samsung is planning to launch a budget smartphone series in India in January ahead of a global release, aiming to regain lost smartphone share to Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi, Reuters reported.

The South Korean consumer electronics company lost its leadership position in the Indian smartphone market to Xiaomi in two of the three 2018 quarters, according to technology researcher Counterpoint.

Samsung will sell three new M-series smartphones through its website and Amazon.com’s Indian operation as part of the strategy to double online sales in India, said Asim Warsi, head of Samsung’s Indian mobile business.

“The M series has been built around and incepted around Indian millennial consumers,” Asim Warsi said.

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 or $5.3 billion in the 12 months to end-March 2018, according to regulatory filings sourced by paper.vc, a business intelligence platform.
Research agency Canalys said the online smartphone market in India will surpass 15 million units in Q3 2018, growing by more than 25 percent year-on-year and expecting to account for 38 percent of the total smartphone market.

Samsung is expected to price the India-made smartphones at less than Rs 10,000 or $141.80 up to 20,000 rupees. The new smartphones from Samsung will feature heavy batteries and features such as quick charging.

Samsung last year opened the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Indian capital New Delhi as well as its biggest mobile phone store globally in Bengaluru.

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.