At a time when Samsung (KRX:005935) fans in India are gearing up for the release of its new Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smart watch on Tuesday, the company has announced that it will also launch two new smartphones at a price tag of less than 15,000 rupees (about $237).
Samsung said that it would offer options in as many as nine regional languages, which should appeal to a wide swathe of non-English speaking customers across the country. The company’s move is seen as a strategy to move in to the crowded, mid-range segment, which is a focus of many local players.
“We will be launching two new smartphones priced for the mid-segment market. Every phone from Samsung will have nine vernacular language options,” Vineet Taneja, Samsung’s country head for its mobile phone business, told the Press Trust of India, or PTI.
Although Taneja did not mention anything about the pricing of the handsets, an anonymous company official revealed that the new devices could be priced between 5,000 to 15,000 rupees, a price range that covers most of the popular handsets in India, such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, the Blackberry Curve, Intel's Xolo and the Canvas 2 from local maker Micromax, PTI reported.
“The competition now in the smartphone market is how to make the phone size small without compromising on the screen size,” Taneja said.
Meanwhile, the South Korean conglomerate’s latest Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smart watch are currently up for pre-orders on the company’s Indian online store for a booking amount of 2,000 rupees. And while the final pricing of the devices have not yet been revealed, a set of HTML source code from online retail store Saholic reportedly indicated that the Galaxy Note 3 could be priced at 47,990 rupees.
According to recent data released by International Data Corporation, or IDC, while Samsung and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) continue to dominate the Indian mobile phone market, market shares of both companies have been steadily dropping, mainly because of intense competition from local vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Intex and Celkon.
Samsung’s India market share fell to 26 percent in the second quarter of 2013, from 32.7 percent in the first quarter, whereas Micromax’s share increased to 22 percent in the second quarter from 18.8 percent in the previous quarter, according to IDC.