Intensifying the price war in the fast-growing smartphone category in India, South Korean mobile handset maker Samsung Electronics today launched its cheapest Galaxy series phone 'Star' at a price of Rs. 5,240.
'Star' is the cheapest device in Samsung's Galaxy range and competes with the likes of Nokia's Asha range of smartphones as well as similar offerings from domestic firms like Micromax and Karbonn.
"Galaxy Star is a device that provides superior value to consumers based on its features, intuitive performance and design features. We want more and more feature phone users to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Star," Samsung Mobile Country Head Vineet Taneja said in a statement here.
Previously, Galaxy Y was the cheapest device in Samsung's portfolio and it was available for Rs. 5,890.
The entry-level smartphone is a dual-SIM device, powered by A5 1GHz processor and the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It has a three-inch capacitive touch screen, 2MP camera and 512 MB RAM and 4GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB).
With this device, Samsung now has a portfolio of 15 smartphones, priced between Rs. 5,240 and Rs. 41,500.
According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), more than 221 million handsets were shipped to India in 2012.
Though smartphones comprised a small chunk of the overall handset market at about seven per cent, the high-end category grew at a robust 35.7 per cent to 15.2 million devices in 2012 from 11.2 million units in 2011.
Given the strong growth in the category, handsets makers are introducing products that are affordable. This is also aimed at helping feature phone users upgrade to smartphones, it said.
Samsung was the category leader with 43 per cent market share followed by Nokia (13.3 per cent) and Sony (8.2 per cent), CMR said.