Since the last few months, Samsung has been aggressively launching new smartphones across every price range. The company has launched the Galaxy Note 9 in India earlier today and it's already preparing for the next upper mid-range smartphone launch- the Galaxy A8 Star. Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh today said the company has "changed" its strategy for the mass and mid-price phones to bring in innovation across its smartphone range and not limit them to premium flagships. Samsung, which counts India as one of its key markets, is also betting big on 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) to drive the next phase of growth for the company that is locked in an intense battle for market leadership in the Indian smartphone market with China's Xiaomi.
Samsung to Launch More Mid-Range Smartphones in Q4 2018
"In the flagship models, we are quite strong and dominant in the Indian market but in mid and mass segment, the competition is very hard...that is the reason, earlier this February, I changed the strategy," Koh told reporters at PTI on the sidelines of Galaxy Note 9 India launch.
He explained that previously, the strategy was to bring the technology of flagship models (which are also premium in terms of pricing) to mid and mass categories but now that has been "totally changed".
"This October-December, we will launch new products which will be differentiated in features, functions and technologies, regardless of whether (these are) flagship or not," he said adding that the company is also engaging extensively with its distributor partners in India.
Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 9 in India Today
The electronics major today also unveiled its latest flagship 'Note 9' in India. The handset which was launched in New York earlier this month will be priced Rs 67,900 onwards, and shipping will begin from August 24. The Galaxy Note 9 can be purchased via Flipkart, Samsung Online Store and major retail stores in the country. Airtel is also selling the Note 9 with a bundled postpaid plan on Airtel Online Store.
Samsung is Excited About 5G Opportunities
Koh said he is also excited about the opportunities that deployment of 5G will bring in. "When 5G comes...we will need to look at the smartphone business differently. 'Smart things' will be at the centre when 5G comes into play...we are very excited about the 5G era," he said.
Koh also talked about the company's engagement with the government and other partners in India in areas like smart cities, education and health care and said the intent is to "not just be a global company operating in India but to be an Indian company".
Competition in the Indian Smartphone Market is Sky High, Says Samsung
Acknowledging that there is intense competition in the Indian market, Koh said the company "isn't just waiting and watching" but is aggressively working to offer the best products packed with India-relevant innovation to customers here. India, which is among the largest smartphone markets globally, is also a fiercely competitive one. The mass and mid-price range devices account for the lion's share of the market.
According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments grew 20% to 33.5 million units in the June quarter 2018 in India. The tally was led by Xiaomi with a shipment of 10 million units and 29.7% share, followed by Samsung 23.9% share (8 million units) and Vivo with 12.6% share (4.2 million units).
However, a Counterpoint Research report for the same quarter pegged Samsung as the leader with 29% share of the Indian smartphone market, followed by Xiaomi with 28% share.