Samsung, the leader in India’s smartphone industry, is now excited about growing its presence in the country’s $1,000 (Rs 80,000) and above ultra-premium class. Samsung now holds a sizable 40% share in this category for the first half of the year (H1), with plans to boost it to 50% by December end.
“Recently, our global president said that Samsung in India will aim for a 50% market share in the $1,000+ category,” Aditya Babbar, Senior Director of Mobile Business at Samsung India, told Business Today. I wanted to reiterate that we are quite confident in meeting this target due to the strong pre-booking numbers (for foldables) that we have witnessed and will continue to experience.
The recently released fifth generation foldables – Galaxy ZFold 5 and Galaxy ZFlip 5 – are helping to meet this goal, as Samsung got 150,000 pre-orders for its new foldables in India between July 27, 2023 and August 17, 2023.
Pre-orders for the ‘Made in India’ Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 were 1.5x higher than for the previous generation of foldables, demonstrating strong demand and expanding preferences for ultra-premium and foldable smartphones. Along with the company’s high demand for the new foldables from tier 1 and 2 cities (1.4x growth against last year), demand in tier 3 and 4 cities has grown at the same rate.
To accomplish this feat and make foldables mainstream, Samsung expanded its distribution base in India to 10,000 retailers, up from 6,000 stores where the previous generation of foldables were marketed.
Samsung also worked on special financing to make these ultra-premium cellphones more affordable. “When we started the affordability part, we saw that there is genuine consumer need,” Babbar says. Previously, a foldable buyer could either trade in their old gadget or receive a rebate or a simple monthly instalment. However, we learned from our consumers that some people would want to offer their old phone in exchange for an EMI. And it is here that we will work on a bespoke affordability. As a result, we worked on cashback plus upgrade, cashback plus EMI, and so on.
With over 150,000 consumers pre-ordering the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, priced at Rs 99,999 and Rs 1,54,999, respectively, Samsung expects foldables to contribute more than 30% of its premium category business this year.