Has Samsung taken a lead over Apple in the Indian premium phone market? The Korean mobile phone major has said that it has attained a 50% share in the Indian premium phone market, at a time when Apple battles a slow start to the sale of its new iPhone 6S devices in India.
Manu Sharma, director (product marketing) for Samsung India, said the company has seen a “positive momentum” over the last one year on the back of new launches such as the S6 edge and the Note5 devices.
“As per numbers provided by market research firm GfK, our market share in the Rs 30,000 and above category is 51% in value terms at the end of the September this year. This was about 36% till about a year ago,” Sharma said. Volume share, he said, is near identical to the number arrived at in value share.
The GfK numbers indicate that Apple is trailing Samsung in the category with a share in the mid-40% range.
Industry analysts, however, point out that Samsung’s leadership clai .. Industry analysts, however, point out that Samsung’s leadership claim should be taken “with a pinch of salt”, especially as there is no way to independently confirm the GfK numbers. “There are a number of research firms in the market, and many of them often have different market share figures. So, one cannot be 100% sure about these figures,” one of the analysts said.
Samsung had been under pressure for a long time in the premium category with sales of Apple’s devices soaring as it introduced new phones and unshackled its distribution network in India. However, a relatively lukewarm response to the launch of iPhone 6S and 6SPlus devices looks to now favour Samsung, which had cut prices of some variants of its S6 range of phones.
Sharma said that Samsung has been witnessing a positive traction in the phone market and the off-take has been strong in October. “The festival season has shaped up well. We have seen a spurt in volumes.” However, he did not disclose the exact sales volumes, citing “company policy.”
A senior official at one of the key multi-brand retailers said Apple has been facing pressure due to “high pricing issue” of new iPhone 6S and 6S-Plus devices. “They have come out with affordability schemes such as interest-free EMIs and other campaigns. This usually does not happen so soon with a new device. There is pressure on Apple to perform, especially as this is the crucial festive period.”
Samsung meanwhile launched a new ‘On’ series of handsets aimed at youth, and these would be sold only through the online channel. Priced at Rs 8,990 and Rs 10,990, respectively, the phones will be sold exclusively through e-commerce firm Flipkart.
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From ITvoir News Desk