Samsung dropped out of the budget phone market from almost everywhere in the recent past. It has tried to make things better for its fans and has failed with the sub-premium phones. The Samsung Galaxy J series looked great with near to perfect specifications but failed to perform, the reviews were great up front but once the phone crossed a six-month mark, it couldn’t last. It failed miserably. It was a major upset when Samsung’s Galaxy phone failed to survive even a year.
This was a time when the world was witnessing a rumble from China. There was some noise coming from a distance. The noise was from China while India echoed it further. The likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Honor, Vivo were ringing bells as loudly as they could, they stomped the Indian market, walked over the local brands, hit the bullseye in the budget market and took over the throne from none other than Samsung. It was a tumultuous time for everyone else but Chinese companies in Asia and all around the world.
Samsung, which had ruled the Indian market along with some of the homegrown companies had to take the backseat when the Chinese companies came in India. The problem was not with the phones that were in the market, it was with the price they were offered at. Chinese companies brought products which had 4G support with dual SIM feature. This was the time of Jio’s 4G revolution as well as PM Modi’s demonetization which helped the Chinese companies immensely. None of the Samsung phones were 4G back then and none of them came at a price which was around INR 10 thousand to INR 15 thousand. The effect? Samsung and other homegrown companies dropped out of the budget phone market.
Fast forward a couple of years, Samsung walking on the path of its own, came out with the M series and just slapped the budget market with Galaxy M10 available for around INR 10 thousand and the M20 for INR 14 thousand along with M30 available for around INR 17 thousand. These are the M series phones. Now let us get to the main debate, the Galaxy A series. Galaxy A series is the kill shot from Samsung. It is going to crowd the budget phone market with this series alongside the M series.
The strategy was announced a few months ago when the company came out with its Galaxy S10 and a few other phones in the flagship category. These phones are a dream for people using the budget phones, no one bats an eye when they are using the phones which cost around INR 15k and Samsung Galaxy flagships are out of their focus. This strategy will surely work because when a person is looking for a budget phone, they are extremely flexible as to which phone to buy. Here, they will search and see multiple Samsung options and only a few Xiaomi and other options.
To further strengthen the reasoning, Samsung has Galaxy A10 which is priced at INR 7 thousand. Then it has Galaxy A20, a phone with better specs priced at INR 11 thousand. So a person looking for a phone in a range of sub ten thousand markets then he has two Samsung options. Now, if he increases his budget, he will find that there is another phone Samsung Galaxy A30 waiting for him. The price of A30 is INR 15 thousand and the specifications are better with a better display and a better camera.
This is an entire spectrum of audience covered by Samsung, where for Chinese companies, tackling this would be impossible. It is not only the sub-ten thousand markets, but it is also the sub twenty thousand markets that Samsung is covering. If a consumer wants to buy a phone which is not exactly a premium but touches upon it, then he has Samsung Galaxy A50 which has two versions, one with 4GB RAM which is for INR 19,999 and the other is the 6GB RAM variant with better camera sensors and larger storage capacity for INR 22 thousand. Two more categories of customers covered. These phones have a magnificent color grading teardrop display, to add to it.
Now, if there is a customer wanting to buy a OnePlus but is not able to stretch his budget to INR 32 thousand, then he has Samsung Galaxy A70, a phone with superb display, 128 GB storage capacity, dual SIM feature having 6GB RAM and powered by Snapdragon 675 Octa-core processor. This is where the A70 wins and this is where Samsung wins.
Having these many phones in a market where customers are aplenty is a masterstroke. It is true, that Samsung is creating a kind of monopoly and none of the phones will perform big and break the records but Samsung as a whole wins here. The phones they have launched are better looking, have better specs sheet and are priced well. These phones will surely turn eyeballs and not only this, Samsung in India has a mark of trust. It has been in India for over a decade now and the company feels like home.
The fact that Samsung India’s head has pledged to make each and every Samsung phone in India from scratch, speaks volume about the company’s trust in the Indian market.
To be fair to the other companies, Samsung has just begun this expansive idea of dominating the budget market. There are still small places where companies like Xiaomi can dominate or they can take the high road just like OnePlus. OnePlus has played it smart, they have lured a fan base which is going to be loyal to them. However, Samsung has played it smarter, they have a phone which is going to compete with OnePlus as well, Samsung Galaxy A80 which is going to be priced around INR 42 thousand is going to compete with OnePlus 7.
This is total domination from the South Korean company and there is no doubt that it is looking to take the throne back from Xiaomi and the Chinese companies. It is trying to do this not only in India but in the entire world.
For us, it is a ‘wait and watch’ game, so let us just do that.