SAMSUNG HAS STOPPED SELLING LOW-COST FEATURE PHONES IN INDIA SOON, WILL FOCUS ON BUDGET SMARTPHONES INSTEAD

SAMSUNG HAS STOPPED SELLING LOW-COST FEATURE PHONES IN INDIA SOON, WILL FOCUS ON BUDGET SMARTPHONES INSTEAD

Samsung was the market leader in feature phones, until it was pipped by Lava and Itel. Now, the South Korean giant plans to completely exit that market and focus on budget smartphones that cost north of Rs 15,000.

Samsung is planning to exit the feature phones market in India after it found out that the segment contributed about 1 per cent of its market value in the first quarter of 2022. Overall, the feature phone market in India fell by about 39 per cent.

As per a report, Samsung’s last batch of feature phones is yet to be manufactured this year. Once that is done, the South Korean tech giant will no longer be manufacturing features phones in India. The plan is to eventually shift the focus and resources to slightly higher priced smartphones. Going forward, it is very likely the cheapest Samsung that one can buy in India, will start from Rs 15,000.

Samsung is among two major MNCs to contribute to the government’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. Samsung, according to ET, is mandated to get sops only on the production of handsets worth over Rs 15,000 factor price. That might be the biggest reason why Samsung wants to start making phones that hit that price point at the very least.

Feature phones have been on the decline in India. According to a Counterpoint Research report, the market saw a 39 per cent year-on-year decline in the first quarter of 2022. Samsung, which was leading the market till a few years back now falls behind Itel and Lava in the feature phones market, the Counterpoint Research report said.

The report also stated that the feature phone segment contributed just 1 per cent in value and 20 per cent in volumes for Samsung till the end of March this year. Samsung executives said that the company expects to grow in double digits in the second quarter of 2022. In the first quarter of 2022, Samsung was the best-selling brand in the Indian market again, with a 22 per cent market share, dethroning Xiaomi to become the market leader in the Android segment.

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