Models show Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest smartphones Galaxy S4 during its unveiling ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. Photo:AP/Lee Jin-man
Samsung has upped the ante in India’s premium smartphone market on Friday by aggressively pricing its high-end flagship Galaxy S4 at Rs. 41,500, which is nearly 10% lower than Apple’s iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10, aiming to woo away customers from both rivals.
The South Korean giant already holds a majority 46% of India’s smartphone market and is backing up its pricing with credit card and monthly-instalment-linked payment plans to build sales volumes.
Fuelled by rising demand from consumers who upgrade their existing smartphone with premium-end phones offering new features, the domestic smartphone market has been witnessing explosive growth.
The market doubled last year. Over the last few months, major players including Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia and Sony have been vying to tap this demand surge.
"We just cannot take our position for granted. The customer is very unforgiving," said Vineet Taneja country head, mobile business, Samsung India.
The Galaxy S4, which runs on Android, sports a bigger display and better camera when compared with Samsung's competitors.
It also sports gesture control features that allows the phone to “sense” when it has the user’s attention through the movement of eyeball or wrists. This means one can pause, play, read e-mails or change the music track without touching the phone.
With easy EMI schemes on offer from almost all major smartphone firms, even premium-end phones have become affordable. The differentiation is gradually shifting from a phone’s price to its features.
In fact, Samsung is already gearing up.
“We are already witnessing a demand surge in smaller cities such as the Barabanki(s) and Raipur(s). In the coming months we will increase our retail presence with live demonstration centres across smaller cities as well,” said Taneja.