As competition in the the television industry in India continues to heat up, market leader Samsung has reduced the prices of some of its top-selling TVs for the second time in less than two months. Samsung had last dropped prices in mid-June in the face of heavy competition from brands such as Xiaomi and TCL, and according to the Economic Times, this second price cut is to maintain its position against a strong showing by online-first TV brands.
The reduction in prices is less in the 32-inch to 43-inch TV segment, where the drop is about 5 percent. This makes a real-world difference of up to about Rs 2,500 in this segment, which is considered the most important in the market in India with around 80 percent of sales by volume. The segment represents the most affordable TVs in the market today, where options such as the Xiaomi Mi TV 4A (32) start at Rs 13,999.
Other options from brands such as TCL, Vu and Micromax are priced similarly, while Samsung is priced higher across the range. Higher-end TVs see as much as a 15 percent price reduction, equating to a difference of about Rs 45,000. Even after these price drops, Samsung will still be priced higher than much of its competition, which use the economies of online distribution to keep pricing low.
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Samsung’s advantage is in its offline availability, where buyers can see the TV before making a purchase. However, the online space is gaining prominence as buyers are gaining awareness of options and brands. Online already accounts for about 12 percent of the TV market, with Flipkart alone eyeing a market share of 18 percent by the end of 2018. The largest gainers from an increase in online TV sales will be brands that focus on the online space, such as Xiaomi, TCL, Vu and Micromax.
According to the ET report, online-focused brands such as Xiaomi, TCL, Sanyo, Vu and Kodak have already captured 14 percent of the market, which is expected to increase going forward. Samsung will need to do a lot to maintain its leadership position in the TV space, and these price cuts are a step towards this.