Samsung India might be readying a new budget smartphone series with a focus on online sales, reports ET. The new Samsung online smartphone series will see devices priced between Rs 5,000 - Rs 15,000 and will target young buyers with high-end specs and features at an affordable price point.
“Samsung India has decided to launch a new series of smartphones this year exclusively for online, which will be high on hardware specifications and aggressively priced to target Xiaomi bestsellers,” three senior industry executives told ET.
Samsung and Xiaomi are competing neck-to-neck in the Indian smartphone market, with the Chinese smartphone maker recording a 300 per cent year-on-year growth in Q3 2017. Samsung, on the other hand, registered a 39 percent sequential growth (QoQ) and 23 percent growth year-on-year (YOY) thanks to stellar sales of the Galaxy J2, Galaxy J7 Nxt, and Galaxy J7 Max smartphones.
According to Manu Jain, VP and India MD for Xiaomi, the Chinese company currently commands almost 50 percent share in India’s online smartphone sales. Samsung’s new online-only series will aim to put a dent in that number with its budget smartphone offerings.
Samsung recently launched the Galaxy A8+ (2018) in india as an online exclusive on Amazon. "Samsung wants to extend its lead with Xiaomi which is possible by expanding e-commerce sales while consolidating its presence in offline channels. It will ensure that the 1.5 lakh brick-and-mortar stores selling its handsets are not neglected since Samsung knows it will take time for Xiaomi to build such a vast offline network," a senior industry executive told ET.
While Samsung plans to wage war in the online smartphone space, Xiaomi is working hard to grow its offline sales business. Xiaomi ventured into brick-and-mortar smartphone sales in India starting with the Redmi 3s Plus.
In an interview with Digit, Jain described Xiaomi’s experience in offline sales as “incredibly good.” He added that in a span of six months (June 2017 - Nov 2017), Xiaomi has become the fourth biggest smartphone brand in the offline space. “We are growing really fast. Revenue and sales from offline grew 10X in the past six months. Now we are really pushing forward to further grow an offline business and have a market dominance in the offline segment,” Jain added.
Samsung is also chopping down its trade partners for completing online orders in India. An executive close to the development reportedly said, “The layers of distribution for online sales are also being cut to ensure margins are better controlled, which can be passed for aggressive pricing."