Samsung Eyes Smartphone Virgins, Price-Prudes in Bid to be Nokia

Samsung has introduced a slew of budget 4G phones to dominate affordable smartphone category. 

Tech News
2 min read
Samsung On5 Smartphone. (Photo: Samsung)

Samsung may have regained its lost pride with this year’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and a slew of Galaxy Note devices that exude quality as well as value. However, the Korean brand, which is the market leader in the smartphone category, has yet to dominate the niche affordable smartphone segment, which is experiencing exploding growth.

This category includes phones aimed partially at ‘touch-phone virgins’ and priced anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000. Currently, this segment is dominated by Chinese brands along with Indian majors like Micromax and Intex.

<a href=""><b>IDC Smartphone Q2 report, 2015. (Photo: IDC)</b></a>
IDC Smartphone Q2 report, 2015. (Photo: IDC)

If Samsung dominates even this ‘most popular’ segment, it will emulate Nokia, which just a few years back, enjoyed utter and total dominance in the market and consumer goodwill at the same time.

Tap the Brand

Samsung will be banking on its brand quotient to achieve their goal. While the likes of Xiaomi and Lenovo have gained traction with Indian consumers, it is hard to say if they can claim to have a brand recall as high as that of Samsung’s.

As an example of Samsung’s brand power was the launch of the Galaxy J5 and the J7 at a steep price-point but mediocre hardware. Industry experts ridiculed the phones, but the Korean brand had the last laugh with brisk sales.

On-Wards and Online

One step towards Samsung’s eventual goal is the new On series it has introduced. This series, only available online, are aimed at a price-conscious audience who want a multimedia companion for music and battery life. Rewind back a few years to when Nokia had the music edition phones as part of their N, E and 7000 series, and the similarities are strikingly even.

Do It the Right Way, or Else

So all the ingredients are in place for Samsung to make its play in the Indian budget smartphone segment aka the Nokia-way. Samsung will of course be wary of repeating Nokia’s missteps which resulted in the Finnish giant’s downfall.

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