INTERNATIONAL – Samsung Electronics unveiled a new range of inexpensive smartphones for India, seeking to win back customers in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market and regain ground lost to Xiaomi Corp. and other Chinese rivals.
The three M series devices, all priced below 20,000 rupees ($283) apiece, will launch on February 5 on the Samsung India online store as well as Amazon India, the South Korean manufacturer said. The cheapest of the range will sell for less than 10,000 rupees. The company will later take the devices to other markets.
“It’s aimed squarely and entirely at millennials who form a third of India’s 1.3 billion population and comprise half of the country’s online shoppers,” said Asim Warsi, senior vice president at Samsung India.
As smartphone sales growth sputters in saturated Western markets, every smartphone maker from Apple Inc. to Samsung and Xiaomi are looking to India to boost their fortunes. The world’s second-most populous country is also the fastest-growing geography for sales. Yet, with only 24 percent of Indians owning smartphones, there’s plenty of room for capturing new customers.
“The battleground in India is the mid-tier and low-tier smartphone segment, which is huge,” said Anshul Gupta, a Mumbai-based analyst at Gartner Inc. “Any vendor looking at volume, revenue or market share which aspires to be among the top five will have to operate in that segment.”