Samsung is a global brand and that often accompanies the inability to manufacture a product specific to a single region. That is what appears to be happening with Samsung in India. It may not be totally wrong to say this is like a déjà vu for Samsung after their endeavours in China. Much like China, India’s $10 billion smartphone industry – which is still growing as opposed to the global trend – is a very price sensitive market.
While competition in the mid-range and budget segments grows exponentially, Samsung hasn’t been doing the best job to compete with the Chinese or even local Indian brands. 2016 saw Samsung release some decent smartphones in the mid-range but they are still no way near what the competition offers in the similar price brackets.
Although Samsung is still the single most popular smartphone brand in India, it’s not a surprise that the Korean company’s market share is decreasing. While it commanded a roughly 30 percent market share just over a year ago, according to the most recent research locally conducted by analysis firm Counterpoint, Samsung lost a massive 9 percentage points year-on-year in market share to low-cost Chinese brands in India.
A group of compatriots meanwhile led by OPPO, Lenovo, OnePlus, Gionee and Xiaomi impressively managed to rack up a combined 50+ percent of monthly sales.
Celebrity endorsements from Bollywood actors like Hrithik Roshan and Ranveer Singh, along with huge sponsorship campaigns by brands such as Oppo and Gionee of the wildly popular Indian Premier League cricket franchise have helped improve perception of Chinese brands – once derided for their low quality.
“In a country like India, there are two religions – one is Bollywood and the second is cricket,” said Arvind R Vohra, Gionee’s India head, noting that both avenues have helped popularize its brand.
Counterpoint insists on highlighting the collective surge of these China-based OEMs in India, from a modest combined share of 19 percent just a year ago. Samsung lost even more steam in the so-called “mid-market segment”, including phones priced between $120 and $440, where the blame clearly doesn’t fall on the ill-fated Note 7.
Now I am not an economist but perhaps Samsung could benefit from Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India‘ initiative since manufacturing products within the country might help the company compete on lower prices. Or at least experiment with the idea like Asus.
What do you think?
Via : Android Authority