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Samsung Aims to Consolidate Position as Largest Smartphone Vendor in India
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Samsung Aims to Consolidate Position as Largest Smartphone Vendor in India
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 7, 2015, 03:45
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Samsung Electronics is actively seeking to maintain its top position in the Indian smartphone market using entry-level models.

Samsung is scheduled to introduce the Galaxy J series to India in Sept. at the latest, according to industry sources and market research firm Strategy Analytics on July 6.

The Galaxy J series are considered to be one of its three entry-level products, along with the Galaxy A and Galaxy E, Samsung's latest mid to low-priced models that were quite popular in the local market after the initial release. The J series are sold for 100,000 to 250,000 won (US$88.48 to $221.25) per unit, the cheapest among entry-level LTE phones launched by the Korean tech giant. 

Among the 4 versions in the J series, the Android phone maker only showcased the J1 in India. The company is planning to introduce the J2, J5, and J7 to the second-most populous country in the world during the third quarter of this year. Samsung's move can be interpreted as its willingness to solidify its position in India's mid to low-end smartphone market by mobilizing all of its entry-level lines. In January 2015, the firm rolled out its first Tizen phone, named the Z1, in India for the first time. 

The size of the Indian smartphone market is the third-largest, twice as large as the Japanese market. Nevertheless, the Indian market still represents 37 percent of the cell phone market, showing tremendous growth potential. The sales volume of smartphones increased by 21 percent in Q1 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

On top of that, 174 million units are expected to be sold in India in 2017 alone, which will put the country in 2nd place, outshining the U.S. Thus, many handset makers around the world are scrambling to enter the Indian market.

Fierce competition in the market is expected, since mid-range and low-cost smartphones make up 80 percent of the Indian market, and 50 percent of total smartphone sales.

Samsung has maintained the top spot in the Indian smartphone market since its first foray into the market. Its share was 25.9 percent in Q1 2015, consistently outperforming India-based Micromax with 19.5 percent.

Global market research firms think that Samsung's market domination will continue for the time being. Since it has smartphone production facilities in India, the third-largest set following Vietnam and China, Samsung is believed to be able to enjoy its dominance in the market compared to other mobile device manufacturers. Furthermore, the Indian government's recent emphasis on its “Made In India” policy is expected to work to Samsung's advantage, since it has local production facilities.