The much-anticipated Galaxy S4 is here, even as other handset vendors try to make a mark in the Indian smartphone market. Samsung is moving aggressively to secure the loyalty of consumers and keep them within the orbit of its devices, software and content
If you haven?t noticed, Samsung seems to be on the warpath in its attempt to establish supremacy in the superhot Indian
mobile handset market, smartphones in particular. Full-page advertisements in the print media that seek to entice customers with lucrative EMI schemes for easy and affordable purchase of the company?s diverse handset product range are just the tip of the iceberg. At a more strategic level, senior Samsung India management team has deployed an aggressive
go-to-market strategy that includes almost immediate availability (in sync with the global launch) of its latest devices here, and giving customers more choice?choice in terms of handsets, prices, applications and the platform that best suits their needs. ?We are always listening to our consumers. The effort has always been to innovate, change and improve,? says Vineet Taneja, country head, Samsung Mobile and Digital Imaging.
The Samsung strategy for the dynamic Indian market, where consumer base is evolving, appears to have borne fruit. According to a market survey undertaken by CyberMedia Research for calendar year 2012, Samsung is the leading player in the smartphone segment with 43.1% share in terms of unit shipments, outpacing Nokia and Sony by a wide margin. India registered 221.6 million mobile handset shipments for CY 2012. During the same period, 15.2 million smartphones were shipped in the country. The India smartphones market during 2H 2012 saw a rise in shipments by 75.2% over and above the 1H 2012 number, taking the overall contribution of smartphones to 6.8% for the full year. In fact, during 2H 2012, smartphone shipments stood at 8.1% of the country?s total mobile handset shipments.
The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4 is here, launched at a glittering ceremony in the capital last Friday. It retails for R41,500 and is available at the Samsung stores in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai now and pan-India at a later date. It comes with a special ?All-In-One? tariff plan from Vodafone, for both its post-paid and pre-paid customers. Under this plan, for a single rental, customers will get unlimited internet, upto 3,000 local and STD voice minutes and upto 750 local and national SMS. All this will help customers save upto R1,000 per month.
We?ll not get into the detailed specifications of the new device; the same can be addressed in this newspaper?s gadgets section at a later date. What is apparent is that the Indian handset market is quite dynamic and the consumer base is evolving. All issues in the market are cases of unfulfilled demand, which in turn presents itself as an opportunity, says Faisal Kawoosa, senior manager?research & consulting, CMR telecoms practice. ?Global handset players such as BlackBerry, Sony, HTC have introduced their flagship devices in recent months and are making every effort to secure the loyalty of consumers here,? he stresses. ?However, handset vendors need to bring awareness among the consumers about new features and utilities in their new devices. Also, localised content will ensure greater loyalty towards the mobile brand.?
According to IDC, Android continued its dominance in the Indian smartphone market, however increased pick up of other operating systems?such as iOS and Windows Phone 8 is expected to spice things moving forward. The scale of the Indian smartphone market is growing by leaps and bounds, it reckons.
Back to Samsung, which considers India as one of its top strategic markets. Smart managers have been deployed at strategic levels to give a strong impetus to the company?s smartphone dream. Sales and marketing teams have been revved up to sell a range of devices across categories. ?This approach has helped us in offering mobile devices at different features thereby providing our customers with more choice,? said Asim Warsi, vice-president (sales) for mobile business at Samsung Electronics India. Its R&D teams are working at frenetic pace to keep the consumers within the orbit of their devices, software, and content. For instance, Samsung has music, gaming, video, education, utility services that it has created with local partners.
Samsung has remained the leader and pace-setter for the smartphone market in India. Its growth strategy is clearly defined, as evidenced by the strong sales of devices like the Galaxy SII, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2. For the Galaxy S4 too, the company is very excited about business prospects and is exuding confidence. It?s time for competing mobile firms to catch up!