Korean chaebol Samsung is in no mood to relinquish the leadership position it enjoys in India’s smartphone market.
The Seoul-headquartered company on Wednesday indicated it would advance the launch of Note 8 globally by a week to August 23.
The revised game-plan is expected to benefit the Korean major who enjoys a five-percentage-point lead over rival Apple in the Rs 30,000 and above premium smartphone segment. Samsung has a market share of 48 per cent in the segment.
Persons in the know told Business Standard that the Note 8 could hit the market by September 10. This would give the company a month’s window to push sales before Apple’s next iPhone launches. A mail sent to Samsung Electronics India elicited no response till the time of going to press.
A month’s window without a new iPhone model, persons in the know said, could help Samsung garner as much as 120,000 to 130,000 units in sales, which would be critical if the company wishes to give the flagship model an edge in the marketplace. Samsung’s S8 sold over 120,000 units in the first month following its India launch in April this year.
India’s premium smartphone market stands at 4.5 million units in size, which is about 4 per cent of the 113-million overall smartphone market here.
Coming a year after its Note 7 fiasco, Samsung, experts said, is expected to press all levers to ensure quality checks even as it advances the launch of the Note 8.
“This time Samsung will take all measures to ensure the product is of the highest standard so that there is no repetition of what happened last year when the Note 7 was plagued with battery problems,” Tarun Pathak, senior analyst, Counterpoint Research, said.
To be sure, Samsung has introduced an eight-level battery check for all premium models and has also raised the bar in terms of product features to regain consumer confidence and brand trust.