Amidst all the talk about its eroding market share in India, H C Hong, Samsung’s new president and CEO for India, reiterated that the company was still the number 1 smartphone company in India as well as the second largest consumer brand. But leaving nothing to chance in the tumultuous times, the company announced four new smartphones, three of which run on 4G, a segment in which the company so far has only high-end products.
Samsung, Hong said, will continue to manufacture in India “reinforcing its commitment to make in India”. He said with the expansion of its plant in Noida, the new Z1 smartphone based on its own Tizen operating systems will be manufactured there.
Even in the three new 4G smartphones announced at the Samsung Forum 2015 in Bangkok, the company has packed features catering primarily to the demands of India. So it will have dual SIM capability as well as the ability to augment download speeds using the Wi-Fi networks. At least in the budget 4G smartphone space, it cannot afford not to focus on India. Not with at least three other manufacturers stealing the advantage from the Korean tech giant by already launching budget phones under Rs 10,000.
Samsung, like all smartphone manufacturers, understand the importance of 4G in India. Once it goes beyond the handful of cities it is available in now, it could be another big push for smartphone adoption in India. Incidentally, India is already the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.
“Data has not become one of the most valuable commodities known to mankind,” explained Asim Warsi, Samsung India’s vice president for mobile & IT. “ We will be there with more devices in due course of time,” he said. Even with the three phones launched on Monday, Samsung will have a slight edge over the competition. It will be the only company to offer a full bouquet of devices from the entry level J1, which it has priced at Rs 9,900 to the top of the Galaxy Note Edge.
The company also announced the India launch of products available in other markets like the new top-end SUHD smart televisions and the Galaxy Active Tab meant for the enterprise segment. Even in the television segment, the company announced the launch of the Joy smart TV range which it says is “made in India for Indians”. These smart televisions will come with built-in Wi-Fi capability, smart browser and the ability to share content from other smart devices. The company is also putting in place a content strategy specific to India by tying up with new partners for its smartphone business.
The author was in Bangkok on the invite of Samsung India.