Can Samsung Grab Its Lost Grounds From Rivals In India?

by Moumita Deb Choudhury    Apr 20, 2017


Someone’s loss is someone’s gain! Just sometime back a major market share of Samsung was devoured by Apple- major reason being- well who doesn’t remember the Note 7 fireworks- But the company now looks set for a comeback and that to with full force with its latest Galaxy S8 and S8+ models.

The launch of the Samsung top slot models-Galaxy S8 price starting at Rs 57,900, while the Plus variant with a bigger screen is priced at Rs 64,900, is pitched to creek into and regain its space at the premium smartphone segment in India which is now led by its rival Apple after the Note 7 debacle.

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Last month the Korean electronics giant rejigged roles of senior executives in India aimed to counter the mounting competition. It is thus clear that Samsung’s latest flagship duo is a well-strategized move for the smartphones to be the mascot to bring back consumers’ trust.

According to IDC, iPhone maker Apple reclaimed the top spot, largely to the success of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Samsung however dropped to second in the worldwide smartphone market with shipments declining 5.2% compared to last year. The Korean giant shipped 77.5 million units in 4Q16, down from the 81.7 million units shipped last holiday quarter.  

Despite the Note 7 debacle and growing pressure from Chinese vendors, Samsung still managed to find success with its S7 and popular J-series of devices in numerous markets. The challenging holiday quarter, however, did bring its worldwide market share below 20% for the first time in over four years, leaving no better time for the arrival of its next flagship product, the Galaxy S8.

“These two devices are among the most awaited smartphones and are already receiving great response worldwide. These push the boundaries of traditional smartphones with their design, technology and services,” Samsung India senior vice-president, mobile business, Asim Warsi said. 

The Galaxy Note 7 recall last October actually restrained the launch of the much talked about device, meaning S7 was its last flagship launch last year.

“Reputation can be seen as a currency that the brand can earn through positive action, communication, or sometimes erode due to lack of the same. Reputation has to be consistently maintained, monitored, and enhanced. In a cluttered space like the mobile phone industry, with diverse brands attempting to capture consumer attention, customers buy and recommend on the basis of reputation, making it the most important influencer of buying decisions,” said Pooja Kaura, Chief Spokesperson for India’s Most Reputed Brands.


At the same time, according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi is now the most preferred smartphone brand for Android users looking to buy a new device in 2017,  The Chinese smartphone maker, which was ranked number one for the first time since its India launch in 2014, has beaten Samsung and Apple. While Xiaomi gained 26 per cent share in the most preferred smartphone brand, Samsung and Apple stand at 12 per cent each.

Despite that, “there is pent-up demand for Samsung devices rolling over from last year due to the disappearance of Note 7. We estimate Samsung to lead the premium segment in April-June and July-September of this year with strong S8 momentum,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research. 

The Galaxy S8 devices that may change the fate of Samsung in India, will be available at select retail outlets and online exclusively on Samsung Shop and Flipkart from 5 May.