Millennium Post

Samsung reworks strategy to boost play in India's mid-mass phone market

New Delhi: Korean electronics major Samsung has "changed" its strategy for the mass and mid-price phones to bring in innovation across its smartphone range and not limit them to premium flagships, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh on Wednesday said.

Samsung, which counts India as one of its key markets, is also betting big on 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) to drive the next phase of growth for the company that is locked in an intense battle for market leadership in the Indian smartphone market with China's Xiaomi.

"In the flagship models, we are quite strong and dominant in the Indian market but in mid and mass segment, the competition is very hard...that is the reason, earlier this February, I changed the strategy," Koh told reporters here.

He explained that previously, the strategy was to bring the technology of flagship models (which are also premium in terms of pricing) to mid and mass categories but now that has been "totally changed".

"This October-December, we will launch new products which will be differentiated in features, functions and technologies, regardless of whether (these are) flagship or not," he said adding that the company is also engaging extensively with its distributor partners in India.

The electronics major on Wednesday also unveiled its latest flagship 'Note 9' in India. The handset which was launched in New York earlier this month will be priced Rs 67,900 onwards and shipping will begin from August 24.

Koh said he is also excited about the opportunities that deployment of 5G will bring in.

"When 5G comes...we will need to look at the smartphone business differently. 'Smart things' will be at the centre when 5G comes into play...we are very excited about the 5G era," he said.

Koh also talked about the company's engagement with the government and other partners in India in areas like smart cities, education and healthcare and said the intent is to "not just be a global company operating in India, but to be an Indian company".

Acknowledging that there is intense competition in the Indian market, Koh said the company "isn't just waiting and watching" but is aggressively working to offer the best products —packed with India-relevant innovation — to customers here.

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