SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – The eyes of the smartphone industry are trained on India with Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi all releasing their latest flagship products within weeks of each other.
Though the Indian smartphone market has been predominantly composed of mid to lower-tier smartphones in the past, recent economic development has led to increased demand for higher-end products.
Samsung has for years stayed ahead of the pack, boasting over 20 percent market share, but Chinese smartphone makers are now nipping at the South Korean company’s heels.
In this year’s second quarter, Samsung held a market share of 21.2 percent, followed by Xiaomi with 15.6 percent. Apple lagged behind, ranking 10th at 3.1 percent.
In line with its Galaxy Note 8 launch, Samsung is pushing hard to maintain its leading position, planning localization measures like tuning its Bixby AI smartphone assistant to better recognize Indian English.
Apple is likewise doing all it can to attract Indian consumers upon the release of the iPhone 8. With ground being lost in China due to encroaching Chinese competitors, Apple can ill afford to lose out in the country with the second highest population in the world.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple has teamed up with wireless carriers and credit card firms to offer the iPhone 8 at a reduced price, with discounts of up to 75 percent.
Wireless carrier Reliance Jio is offering a deal in which customers can use the iPhone 8 on a specially determined payment plan and return it for a refund of 70 percent of the original purchase price. Citibank credit card holders can also get 150 dollars cash back, dropping the actual purchase price of the iPhone 8 to between $100 and $200.
Xiaomi is also looking to gain through its Mi Mix 2. Despite its premium smartphone status, the phone’s retail price at 35,999 Rupees (630,000 won approximately) is lower than that of the Galaxy Note 8 or the iPhone 8, both of which go for over 1 million won.
The Mi Mix 2 represents a shift in Xiaomi’s business model, which was previously focused on the lower end of the market.