Keen to see even pricing across channels

By: | Published: January 7, 2015 12:50 AM

Samsung, India’s leading seller of mobile handsets, wants to see parity in pricing between...

Samsung, India’s leading seller of mobile handsets, wants to see parity in pricing between the online and offline channels through which it sells its products in the country, Samsung India’s vice-president of IT and mobile marketing, Mohammad Asim Warsi told Rhik Kundu in an interview. The Korean conglomerate, which is facing competition from homegrown handset makers such as Micromax and Karbonn, launched four new mid-segment smartphones in India on Tuesday, the first time that the company has launched these many phones simultaneously.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm is slated to launch fourth generation broadband wireless services on a pan-India level later this year and Samsung is one of the vendors with whom Reliance Jio has tied up. Warsi says that Samsung India is gearing up to launch a slew of 4G-enabled smartphones in India to take advantage of this business opportunity. Edited excerpts:

Fourth generation (4G) broadband wireless services are slated to take off in a big way in the country. How does Samsung plan to leverage this opportunity?

We are very excited about the launch of 4G since it is set to take the large-screen smartphone experience to the next level with better and faster network connectivity. We will be ready with a battery of products when the technology eventually rolls out. We have already launched several devices that support long term evolution (LTE) technology (which is marketed as 4G LTE) like the Galaxy S5, Note 4, and Alpha handsets.

Which segment of smartphone users will Samsung focus on in India as far as its products are concerned?

Mid-segment is a very important vertical for Samsung since the growth rate in this segment is robust and it attracts huge volumes of users who want to upgrade from lower models (all the four phones launched on Tuesday were in the mid-segment.

However, over the last few years, Samsung has been the market leaders in all mobile phone segments in India, which we have been able to achieve by virtue of offering products across all segments. This effort will continue.

A price war has been playing out between online and offline mobile phones sellers, with the latter complaining about the predatory pricing tactics of e-commerce players. What is your take on this?

Samsung is keen to see stable and even pricing across channels so that consumers are assured about the price points. We do understand that brick-and-mortar stores face challenges and we are aware and sensitive to these challenges. But, as far as our new models are concerned we will make it available across all channels, be it brick-and-mortar stores or e-tailers.


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