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Samsung now India's second-largest products company

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? Samsung? India? mobile?

South Korean tech giant Samsung has surpassed multi-business conglomerate ITC to become India's second-largest consumer-facing products company, The Economic Times reported. The consumer electronics maker's revenues increased by 45 per cent for 2013-14, thanks to its operations in the country.

About half of Samsung India's revenues came from 'made in India' products, according to the report that cited latest filings with the Registrar of Companies.

Samsung initially faced slower smartphone sales from April to August, but the business picked up in September and continued to grow in double digits during the Diwali season, industry experts told The Economic Times.

Korean handset makers are facing a serious problem. Samsung is holding on to its top position in the worldwide smartphone market, but it was also the only company in the top five to see its shipment volume decline year over year, according to market research firm IDC.

Samsung and other Korean handset manufacturers, are experiencing a drop in exports due to the release of Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and sales decline in China and the ASEAN region, according to Business Korea. Smartphone exports to the ASEAN region and China took a deep plunge from $64 million to $20 million and from $40 million to $21 million, respectively.

Back in India, the smartphone business helped boost Samsung sales by at least 40 per cent a year in the last two fiscals, according to The Economic Times. The brand may account for about one-fourth of the overall sales in the country, but it is still facing stiff competition from Motorola, Xiaomi, Micromax and other home-grown brands.

Xiaomi, now third on IDC's list of global smartphone vendors, launched in October its Redmi 1S smartphones via e-commerce site Flipkart. About 100,000 units of the phones, which costs about $98 each, were sold in four seconds, Bloomberg reported.

But hope is not yet lost for the Korean smartphone maker. Insiders said Samsung will soon launch a handset that operates on its own Tizen operating system. Talks about launching a Tizen-based phone have been going around since 2013, but they have yet to bear fruit. If that does happen, then the tech giant will have another problem on its hand: Can it convince existing and first-time users to move from Android devices to Tizen-driven cell phones?

- Jasmine Solana
??EE Times Asia

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