NEW DELHI: Korean handset maker Samsung is aiming to pip China's OnePlus in the July-September quarter to become the largest player in the premium segment with the help of the latest Note 10 series.
The company said that it is now eyeing double-digit growth in the premium smartphone segment during the upcoming festive season, driven by the new launch coupled with the existing S10 series and some high end phones in the A series including the A80 smartphone.
“We see good double-digit growth coming for us even as overall industry premium segment is expected to grow at 9%. For us, the growth was around 20-25% for the first half-season,” Ranjivjit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President – Mobile Business, Samsung India, told ET.
The company is also looking to grow its business by around 40% in value terms during the festive. “With the broad portfolio, we are well-positioned to get more market share.”
For the premium segment, Samsung’s S10 series helped it regain the lead in the premium segment in the January-March quarter. However, OnePlus snatched its crown back in the second quarter with its OnePlus 7 series.
With the help of Note 10 and A series handset, Samsung is aiming to regain its premium market share lead. “We expect there would be a lot more people going to buy flagships...they will come from other brands due to productivity case offered by Note 10. It is a better time for us to launch Note 10 series with offers...the festive season peaks up in October… we are buoyant and positive,” Singh said.
“We have been able to introduce a broad range. We are investing deeply in premium,” he said, adding that S10 series is still pulling a lot of weight, and Note 10 series will see a lot of traction.
Samsung has launched Note 10 plus at a starting price of Rs 79,999, while Note 10 is priced at Rs 69,999. It has come with up with prebooking offers wherein it is offering active watch and Galaxy buds at a cheaper price, besides offering cashback offers.
Counterpoint’s associate director Tarun Pathak said that Samsung is likely to capture 40% in the ultra-premium segment (Rs 45,000 and above) in Q3 after Note 10 series. He added that the overall premium segment is still largely untapped and is up for grabs by all the key players. “It is estimated to grow by 20% in Q3.”
Samsung, citing, Gfk data, claimed that it had 63% value market share in the premium segment in the first half of 2019. It exited 2018 with 52% premium market share.
Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India said that the category of Note users is super niche, but Samsung has a loyal base in India.
“S10 series has worked in India except for S10e. we expect price drop likely along with discount and cashback during the festive season sales on premium devices similar to what Apple did with XR to drive sales. Ecommerce platforms are likely to drive these offers,” Joshi said.
As per IDC analysis, Samsung had a 59% market share in $700 and above price segment in the January-March period of 2019, driven by S10. Apple, however, regained the lead with 55% share with iPhone XR phone in the second quarter, while Samsung’s share went down to 39%.
$300 and above smartphone category cornered 6.2% of the overall market, while phones priced at $700 and above cornered just 1% of the market in the second quarter, as per IDC data, which also suggested that $1000 plus price segment was 0.2% of the overall market.
“In the overall premium segment, only $400-$600 category grew 16% YoY due to OnePlus in Q2,” Joshi said.
Samsung’s Singh claimed that its premium A80 phone has also helped it get market share in the premium segment. IDC’s Joshi, however, countered by saying that the device is priced steeply and Samsung is seeking too much from consumer just for a camera innovation. “…that’s not going to work at the current pricing.”