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India’s tier-3 towns lead phone upgrade demand, Samsung

India’s smaller towns are showing the maximum appetite for phone upgrades, helping Samsung post stronger value growth as volumes plateau in the smartphone industry, according to a top company executive.

“Something that we see today and where we’re growing quite well is the Tier-III and below (segment) to categories like the Rs 20,000-30,000 segment,” Raju Pullan, senior vice president of Samsung’s smartphone division, told NDTV Profit at the launch of the Galaxy F55 5G, a phone priced within that same bracket.

“The area is contributing to about 43% of the overall Samsung Finance+ so we’re seeing very strong upgrades there,” Pullan said, referring to Samsung’s in-house financing plans for smartphones.

Overall, he said Samsung is in pole position so far in 2024, with a 25% share by value. “The industry volume is actually growing in single-digit terms, but we’re seeing strong value growth. In Q1, we’ve gotten off to a very strong start,” he said. “We’re growing at about 30% and with that we’re ahead of the industry growth.”

Pullan attributed Samsung’s value win to the trends of consumers upgrading, premiumisation and the adoption of 5G. “The trends are looking very positive. We just have to be cautiously optimistic and create the right marketing strategies,” he added.

He said Samsung India’s strategy to beat faster growing brands such as Nothing, iQOO and Motorola is to not only look at value growth, but also drive volumes by being present across various segments.

Samsung, he said, is a “full range” player across various price bands, but the Rs 20,000-30,000 price segment is the fastest growing segment, rising about 60% year-on-year.

“We will be looking at categories which are the fastest growing and through them, meet consumer aspirations. We will also be launching a lot of new 5G models,” he said. “We’ll focus on upgrades.” NDTV Profit

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