Samsung is a pioneer in the smartphone industry. Not only in the smartphone and consumer electronics segment, Samsung has a great history and profound presence in a lot of other sectors as well. Apart from being a smartphone manufacturer themselves, they are also a component supplier for other vendors, including their competitors like Apple.
Samsung brings a number of top of the line flagships to the market every year through their Galaxy S-series and the unrivaled Galaxy Note series. Though their flagships are great by themselves and are preferred worldwide over the competition (at least on Android side), Samsung is slowly losing its upper hand in the mid-range segment in emerging markets like India. Let’s take a deeper look why Samsung is killing themselves.
What’s Happening With Samsung?
Samsung, apart from their great flagships also offers a ton of smartphones ranging from entry level to the upper-midrange segment in the country. Their Galaxy J-series, On-series, and A-series are not necessarily bad devices but are not worth purchasing especially when far better options are available in the market. Here is why;
Samsung is considered as a tier-1 brand. With their large network of service centers, their popularity and experience in other segments of the market, availability, etc comes an inevitable “Samsung premium”. But, Is it worth it? Well, not really. Samsung is pricing their devices way over the competition. Samsung can’t ignore this just because of the fact that the brands selling cheaper are online focused.
First of all, the brands like Xiaomi have a huge offline expansion roadmap and even those already present and have a stronghold in the offline market like OPPO and Vivo are seriously undercutting Samsung devices.
In short, the premium Samsung is charging, which by the way is mostly for the trust the customers have in them, is unjustifiable. I mean, a Snapdragon 450 in a device costing Rs. 21,990, really? An HD+ screen on a Rs.19,990 phone, c’mon Samsung.
(These are the prices of Galaxy A6+ and Galaxy A6 at the time of writing on Samsung’s online store)
2. Cutting Every Possible Corner
Samsung, not only prices their phones rocket high but also cut every possible corner. Sensors are the main victims of this corner cutting. It ranges from gyro and compass down to even the light sensor.
Also, Samsung weirdly opted for a plastic back on the new J6 and J8 despite the previous J-series sporting a metal back. Not that plastic is bad, but removing the sturdy metal back with no notable improvement in any other aspect is not necessarily a good move. This shows how Samsung is moving backward every year from their already unimpressive devices.
3. Software Updates
Samsung’s software has improved quite a lot recently. To Samsung’s credit, they do occasionally provide software updates to their mid-range devices, but they’re not on time as well as there is no guarantee that you will get one. I might not have brought this up as we are talking about mid-range devices here. But, Samsung is charging a hefty premium for which they should provide at least something.
Whether you agree or not, Samsung is considered as the face of Android smartphones. If they are delaying or not proving updates to their devices, there is no point in blaming the others. Hopefully, the situation will improve with Google’s Project Treble on-board.
4. Same Specs Every Year!!
If you look at the On-Series or the J-Series of the past two years, you might find hardly any differences. Well, that’s because there is not much happening there. They all have the same Exynos 7870, maybe a change here and there in display technology or resolution of the camera and that’s it. They definitely have different names though.
If you feel doubtful check out the specifications of Galaxy J7 Prime released in August 2016 and Galaxy J7 Prime 2 released in March 2018. While providing choices to the customers is great, but what is the point if all of them are nothing but the same.
Why Is Samsung Still Relevant In The Mid-Range?
Though brands like Motorola, Xiaomi, and Honor have stolen the thunder over time with online sales and aggressive pricing, Samsung is still on the top when it comes to the sheer number of devices they sell.
No doubt, their market share might have gone down when compared to the past figures, but still, they are on the top or at least the one in the top two. This shows how much people love Samsung devices, trust them as a brand and how relevant they are to the market.
“How is this possible?”, you may ask. There come Samsung’s marketing and strong supply chain. Samsung markets their devices really well. That’s not a bad thing as long as they are not making false claims. If you want to stay on business, you have to market your products, spread the word out there. That’s where many brands like HTC and Sony have failed and LG is failing.
These days marketing smartphones are frowned upon by enthusiasts which don’t make any sense. It’s the customer who has to do the research and take the decision whether to go with a particular device or if there are any other better alternatives.
Sadly, not a lot of people care and don’t want to spend their time researching about what’s inside their phones as long as they can make calls and use social media all day long. That’s fine, everybody has their own preferences. But seeing manufacturers like Samsung ripping their customers off is what we tech savvy people can’t tolerate.
So…Samsung Is Bad, Right?
No. Never. Samsung is a great company. A group of intelligent people who are working hard to improve every aspect of our life with science and technology. Samsung’s contribution to the smartphone world alone is unmatched.
Also, Samsung is making genuine efforts in pricing their flagships sensibly in India, unlike some other companies (ahem, Apple) charging heavy premiums over their already high prices. It’s just that their mid-range segment in developing markets like India is a bit flawed, which by the way can be easily rectified. They just need to change the current policy of making high margins per piece, selling as much as they can, to focusing more on user experience and providing more value for their devices.
Moreover, Samsung is the one who can experiment in the market more so than any other brands. That’s mainly because Samsung is not just limited to smartphones. Unlike Xiaomi, a company centered around smartphones and computers, Samsung has a vast portfolio.
Even if they make a small mistake, they won’t go bankrupt. That is their strength, they just have to experiment with the pricing and bring their focus to the mid-range segment as well instead of completely concentrating on flagships. Afterall, it’s the mid-range segment which makes Samsung the largest smartphone maker in the world.
What do you think about Samsung’s pricing strategy in India? Let us know in the comments below. Also, did you know that Samsung built the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world? Well, if you didn’t you can click here to watch the cool ColdFusion video to know more facts about Samsung.
Written by Naufal AJ (intern), edited and published by Atish Rajasekharan.