Samsung: We have been No. 1 for the past seven years

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Samsung, after a while, is back at the number one spot in the Indian smartphone market. A report by Counterpoint Research suggests that it has taken the South Korean tech giant more than 24 months to emerge as the numero uno. That, as per Samsung, isn’t really accurate. Why you may ask? Because the company believes that it has been the market leader for the past seven years and counting — as far as value is concerned.
Samsung remains bullish about the Indian market and is eyeing 40%-plus year-on-year growth by value in the coming quarter — backed by festive offers and other customer incentive/reward programmes.
“We are also the market leader by the virtue of being the full-range player. We have offerings across smartphones, tablets, wearables and even feature phones,” says Asim Warsi, senior VP at Samsung India.
Anti-China sentiment has been prevalent — or at least the perception about it is around — and Samsung has been the biggest beneficiary of it. It could be a coincidence but the company has been on a launch spree like never before. How else does one explain as many as a dozen new smartphones across the price bracket and segments, including premium range Galaxy Z Fold2 priced above Rs 1 lakh. The other notable additions include the growth driver M series. One shouldn’t forget the mid-range A-series and the flagship S-series where Samsung has been really active. If that wasn’t enough, a new F-series of smartphones are in the pipeline.
The big picture for Samsung: Phones, tablets and more
It’s not just about phones for Samsung as the company has been hyperactive in other categories as well. Case in point: tablets. Samsung’s tablet portfolio in India saw four new additions in 2020, including the premium Tab S7+, priced at Rs 79,999. Moving on to wearables and ‘hearables’, we have seen the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Watch 3. Elaborating on this strategy, Mohandeep Singh, senior vice president, mobile business, Samsung India, says “Our offering integrates into the life of Gen Z and millennial consumers, whether it is work, play or style, offering a wholesome experience.” Samsung has been offering programmes like Samsung Finance+, Samsung Care+ and Galaxy Assured offer, to cash in on the festive season.
Smartphones remain the growth driver for Samsung and Singh believes that there are a new set of consumers who are becoming digitally-enabled for the first time. While the quarter immediately after lockdown saw sales jump due to pent-up demand, the company has been able to sustain it. The current growth according to Singh, is spread across price segments. “While there is strong demand from consumers who are getting digitally-enabled, there are also buyers who are looking for better technology, performance innovation and value,” he said
Samsung claims to be leading in ASP value across brands — be it entry-level or the flagship, as per Singh, who also claims good growth in wearables and smartwatch category.
Warsi says that both M-Series and A-series have witnessed good growth in the Indian market this year. Introduced last year, M-series is Samsung’s India-first series. The range starts at Rs 4,999 and goes all the way up to Rs 29,999. The A-series range currently starts at Rs 14,999 in India. It’s the M-series, however, that may very well prove to be the difference for Samsung as it has launched eight M-series phones so far this year, more than last year. “This has helped us do $2.5 billion worth GMV this year so far,” says Warsi.
Samsung, as per Warsi, has been posting impressive numbers. “We sold 20 million-plus M-series devices in 2019. A-series is now over $5 billion-plus franchise in terms of GMV”, says Singh supporting his colleague’s claims.
Cashing in on the festive season
Samsung has launched a slew of offers aimed at maintaining its leadership position. While some of these offers are new, the others are extension of old ones. Samsung Finance+ claims to offers consumers a chance to buy Galaxy smartphones with easy paperless finance from the comfort of their homes. Samsung Care+ gives buyers 50% off on accidental and liquid damage (ADLD) protection plan. The Galaxy Forever offer enables consumers to buy a brand new Galaxy smartphone at just 60% of the price. With Galaxy Assured offer, consumers can buy a brand new Galaxy smartphone with buyback offers of up to 70% device cost.
So far, Samsung Care+ and Galaxy Forever and Galaxy Assured offers are available on select flagships and premium devices but moving forward, the company aims to expand the benefits to other series as well.
The company has also introduced ‘Reward Yourself’ campaign that offers flat 10% cashback with HDFC Bank credit and debit cards and SBI credit cards, bundle offers and a range of other benefits on the company’s portfolio of smartphones, wearables and tablets.

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