Samsung to launch India-specific phones across all price points

After the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus (opens in new tab), the company now has plans of launching smartphones (opens in new tab) tailored towards the Indian smartphone market later this year. This will include devices at all price points from flagship to entry-level (opens in new tab) smartphones.

Asim Warsi, the Global Vice President for Samsung India, has said that this strategy has been put forth to counter the growing competition in the local smartphone space, especially from other Chinese players (opens in new tab)

To this end, Samsung (opens in new tab) is in partnership with Reliance Jio (opens in new tab) and Bharti Airtel (opens in new tab) for what they call ‘LTE Carrier Aggregation’. This is basically when the spectrum across distinguished bands merge into a single pipeline resulting in increased bandwidth, faster streaming and quicker downloads. Fundamentally, this makes Samsung smartphones the fastest to function on 4G networks (opens in new tab) across India.

Samsung Electronics had dominated the Indian smartphone market for six years but near the end of last year, it lost out to Xiaomi. The last quarter quarter shows the Chinese company overtaking the South Korean tech giant, with the former shipping out nearly 8.2 million smartphones and the latter shipping around 7.3 million according to a Canalys report (opens in new tab).

Samsung was still the overall leader for 2017 in the Indian smartphone market with its market share being around 24% according to the International Data Corporation (IDC (opens in new tab)). Samsung also has the largest retail network in the nation, which puts Xiaomi at a disadvantage.

Samsung is confident that its core strengths in research and development along with innovation is enough to expand its market share in no time as per Warsi, "We invest $14 billion (roughly Rs 90,900 crores) in R&D globally and have five global R&D centres based in India. There are two manufacturing operations as well through which, we are always trying to keep ourselves ahead of the curve in R&D towards 'Make for India'."

Even the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have been tailored to the Indian market with tags such as ‘Make for India’ and features like ‘LTE Carrier Aggregation’, which would let the consumers stream data at speeds 2.5 times faster. Samsung has even come up with it’s own loyalty programme labelled, ‘Samsung Rewards’. 

According to Warsi, these two phones will help the company further their cause of being leaders in the premium smartphone segment when they go on sale on 16 March.

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.