Samsung Electronics, the largest smartphone maker, is aiming to wrest its crown in the premium segment in the quarter ending March 2017 by overthrowing Apple which had taken the lead in the Rs 30,000 upwards category in the previous quarter. The South Korean company has pinned its hopes on the Galaxy C9 Pro, launched in January, and has just introduced the Galaxy A7 2017 edition to claw back its market share from its Cupertino-based rival that has registered a fall in sales since early this year due to demonetisation.
"We have a very strong portfolio with the A9 Pro and the kind of numbers C9 Pro has been doing, the premium segment has not seen that, so we will grow this segment of the market," said Manu Sharma, head of mobiles phones at Samsung India.
He said that Samsung will "absolutely" be able to reverse the trend in rankings, while the introduction of the company's next flagship -Galaxy S8, set to launch internationally on March 29 -will also tilt the scales in its favour in the coming quarters.
Samsung lost out heavily in the premium segment in the October to December 2016 quar ter as it was unable to launch the Galaxy Note 7 in India market, and instead pushed its marketing might behind the Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge. The Note 7 was recalled globally and scrapped following several instances of fire and explosion caused by faulty batteries, but the absence of a flagship device during the quarter which earns almost a fourth of industry revenue -due to high purchases in the festive season --left a void that Apple was qu ick to fill up with deals and discounts. discounts.
Industry sour ces said that about 50,000 C9 Pro devices we re sold in the first few days of pre-booking in January. The Galaxy A5 will be priced about Rs 28,990, while the Galaxy A7 will be priced at Rs 33,490, and will be sold online and offline.
Analysts said that Samsung may have a good chance to recapture the top spot as Apple's sales have not been as high as the Korean company's.
Samsung's Sharma said the company will also gain from replacements as users waiting to move to premium devices would chose its new phones.