Mobiles & Tablets

Quality of phones will help us retain No.1 spot: Samsung

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on October 28, 2015

Gyehyun Kwon

David Kang, Vice-President, Online, Samsung Mobile

David Kang



A few months ago, Samsung was in the midst of a dispute with Micromax on the issue of mobile phone sales figures in India. Samsung stood its ground and maintained that the number of smartphones it retailed in India was “more than double than that of the next player”.

It said Micromax’s claim for the top position was based on shipments. Samsung said it has a manufacturing facility in India, which could have resulted in a mismatch in calculating shipment levels.

Samsung is still at the top, but there are concerns over whether it will be able to retain the position with rivals such as Xiaomi, Asus and OnePlus sniping at its ‘marketshare’ heels with their phones priced at almost half the price of Samsung’s flagships.

But Samsung is convinced it is there to stay — at the top. During an interaction recently, Gyehyun Kwon, Senior Vice-President, Product Marketing – Asia, emphasised that the difference was in quality.

“Samsung is the biggest maker of smartphones and the many key components that go into them. From R&D, design, to manufacture, almost all of the processes are done in-house so that customers can be sure that they are buying the highest quality device for the best smartphone experience available on the market,” he said.

He felt that it did not mean Samsung phones were expensive. “We offer our devices at diverse price points; from top of the line flagship smartphones to entry level devices. We want to provide an unmatched smartphone experience with the flagships while providing entry models to those making the transition from a feature phone to a smartphone. Consumers view Samsung as an aspirational brand and our customers will likely trade up to a more premium, or flagship model.”

More scope in 4G devices

Gyehyun Kwon said Samsung saw a huge opportunity in the LTE/4G rollout in India and had tied up with a leading operator for bundling phones with connections. He said proliferation of 4G LTE would help further fuel the explosion in demand for 4G as it became more readily available. Samsung had already introduced numerous 4G devices at various price points, he said. Samsung mobiles has also come up with features such as ultra-power saving and ultra-data saving modes.

However, an area where Samsung looks to be lagging behind is in the online retail space. With Xiaomi, OnePlus and Asus tying up with online retailers and carpet bombing the market with flash sales that drive up expectations. Is Samsung doing something about it?

David Kang, Vice-President, Online, said Samsung was aware of it and working closely with the local online channel partners such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. He said Samsung believed in a strong offline presence. “We want to provide products to wherever customers prefer to shop. We have strong partnerships with offline retailers across the country. To meet the growing demand of online customers, we offer online shopping experience on Samsung.com.”

Gyehyun Kwon and David Kang said Samsung worked closely with the channel partners to make available mobile devices wherever customers frequent the most, both on and offline.

Global design team

Samsung also had the advantage of having design teams across the globe, which allowed it to offer devices with varied sizes and designs. “At Samsung, we do not use the one-size-fits-all approach. To meet the various needs of different customers, we operate regional R&D facilities, design centres and manufacturing sites across the world. The Southwest Asian region in particular is home to three R&D centres, a design centre, as well as manufacturing facilities to address the needs of the customers,” said Gyehyun Kwon.

(The writer was in South Korea at the invitation of Samsung)

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Published on October 28, 2015
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