Samsung is reportedly working on a new series of online-only smartphones compete against rival Xiaomi. The purported series is expected to be aggressively priced between Rs 5,000-Rs 15,000, and boast competitive features – a formula that has worked well for Xiaomi in the Indian market.
According to IDC, Samsung and Xiaomi shared the top spot in the Indian market for the first time in Q3, 2017. The companies achieved a market share of 23.5 percent, becoming dominant players in the country with 9.2 million smartphones. However, the top-three smartphones sold during the July-September quarter were by Xiaomi. These sales have been primarily through the online channels, and this is where Samsung wants to channelize its focus.
In a bid to expand its market dominance, Samsung is now looking at offering more than its existing online-only Galaxy On series of smartphones. The company already has a strong offline presence, something which Xiaomi is yet to establish. The Chinese manufacturer has only recently started setting up its Mi Stores in select cities of India where it provides customers the chance to experience and buy its products. However, it is still a long way before it matches up the level of Samsung, which boasts lakhs of retail stores in the country. BGR India has reached out to Samsung for more details on its plans of releasing the new range of online-only smartphones.
Although Samsung is aiming to invade the online sales channel, it does not intend to do so at the cost of established offline stores. An ET report quotes a company executive as saying, “Samsung wants to extend its lead with Xiaomi which is possible by expanding e-commerce sales while consolidating its presence in offline channels. It will ensure that the 1.5 lakh brick-and-mortar stores selling its handsets are not neglected since Samsung knows it will take time for Xiaomi to build such a vast offline network.”
The South Korean manufacturer has also reduced the number of trade partners for fulfilling online orders to 2-3 in each region, down from 10-12 earlier. “The layers of distribution for online sales are also being cut to ensure margins are better controlled, which can be passed for aggressive pricing,” another executive is quoted as saying in the report.