Our go-to-market is actually again deeply rooted in how we make it easier for the consumer to select, choose, buy—it’s the entire spectrum that we look at.
Samsung has launched Galaxy Note10 and Galaxy Note10+, two stunning and powerful flagship devices that will appeal to millennials with their sleek design, attractive colours and power-packed features that keep them going all day. “The new Galaxy Note10 line has an enhanced S Pen that converts handwriting to digital text, enhanced Samsung DeX for PC and Link to Windows for all your productivity needs,” says Ranjivjit Singh, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Samsung India. “At Samsung, we listen to our consumers and bring in meaningful innovations that help make their lives better,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
What are your expectations from the Galaxy Note10 line?
Galaxy Note was launched in 2011 and when we launched, we came up with the S pen which was very unique. At that time, it was the biggest display as well. In fact, a lot of people were surprised at what Samsung was doing. But now when people think about Galaxy Note, it is like a power device for powerful users and the users themselves are a little bit different from regular smartphone users. They are always on the go, they have ideas, they move from one idea to the other, they want to make new plans, they want to do more projects, and they depend on the Galaxy Note to make it happen.
When I say different, there are people who are now doing lots more than just a nine-to-five kind of job, so they have different interests. It’s not just about a style statement, it’s also about productivity. It’s also about creativity with the S Pen and the writing and everything else that’s possible with the Galaxy Note. It just differentiates the category in a very, very different way than any other phone. In a sense, it’s a phone for the entrepreneurs, for the visionary, for the innovators and the creators.
What is Samsung’s market position in the premium segment?
Last year around the same time, we launched the Note 9, and by December we were at about 52% value share in the premium segment which is defined as over `30,000. We exited at 52% —that means one in every two premium smartphones was a Galaxy. And a big contribution, of course, came from the Note 9. Now when we launched the S10, S10 Plus and S10 E, in March this year, we have exited June with the market share of 63%. So, from 52% we have gone upto 63%. Now we are launching the Note10, Note10+, so our market leadership will consolidate further.
What are the key priorities for Samsung when it comes to the premium range of smartphones?
Premium smartphone buyers are early adopters. So, we need to be a little ahead of others in terms of what they are looking for—they are really looking for advanced features. Let me call out, for example, the design. The design is something that just has to be super—like you might have a lot of power in it, but you can’t make it bulky, it must be slim and yet durable. There are some basics we have to take care of —for example, durability, so upgrading to Gorilla Glass 6, making sure that we have IP68. Then taking it into productivity, the Note10 has features that have not been seen in the market. So, air actions by S pen, night mode, the zoom-in mic,
the super steady mode, the live bokeh videos with special effects—all of that just takes Note10 to the next level in terms of creativity.
Apart from features, there’s added productivity with the Samsung DeX and the Microsoft Partnership. Galaxy Note10 comes with defence grade security built-in it with Samsung Knox. Then, there’s AI that recognises your gaming patterns, and then makes sure that there is no lag. There are so many different things that we have been able to bring about in terms of innovations and that’s what the premium segment consumer is really looking for.
How does your India R&D contribute towards driving localised features in your premium devices?
The Indian Samsung Research Institute Bengaluru—the largest research institute outside of Korea for Samsung— has brought in features like the AR Doodle and the Auto Doodle. The Big Bokeh effect has also been done by SRI Bengaluru. And then, it creates tags for your Gallery photos. If you have documents, receipts, photographs, whatever…you can use hashtags and find what you’ve looking for in a matter of seconds. We make all our smartphones in India. We inaugurated the world’s largest mobile phone factory here in Noida, so now we make for the world. So, Make for India, Make in India and Make for the World.
How do you look at the competition in this space? What is Samsung doing differently to stand out?
Each of the things that I talked about has a real use case, it’s not for the sake of technology, it’s not just crammed in or just to give a number; it’s a meaningful innovation. That is our DNA. So, the innovation that you are looking at in Note10, they are the world’s first and world’s best, but deeply rooted in consumer insight. That’s how we differentiate ourselves.
Our go-to-market is actually again deeply rooted in how we make it easier for the consumer to select, choose, buy—it’s the entire spectrum that we look at. For example, Note10, Note10+ will be available in over 10,000 stores across the country. Galaxy Note10 will also be available on our Samsung e-store and across online players such as Paytm, Flipkart, Amazon and Tata Cliq.