Samsung nears another milestone in phone biz

KOLKATA: Samsung India is poised to surpass Rs 80,000 crore in total smartphone revenue this financial year, propelled by about 12% sales volume growth widely outperforming a subdued domestic market, said two people aware of the matter.

The company accelerated sales spurred by premiumisation with average handset selling prices rising by 22%, higher than the industry average of 17%. The share of no-cost EMI purchases has also increased from 54% to 60% during the year, said Akshay Rao, mobile experience business general manager at Samsung India. Tenure for no-cost EMI schemes too rose to 18 months from 12 months earlier.

Rao, however, declined to share or confirm the revenue performance for FY24.

“In value terms, our mobile phone domestic sales have grown by 12%, which is much ahead of the industry growth rate of 8-10%. Our goal is to continue to grow ahead of the market. This will be possible due to higher focus on 5G handsets. For instance, in 2023, around 60% of our smartphone shipments to India were 5G handsets which we want to grow to 75% this calendar year,” said Rao.

An industry executive said Samsung’s mobile phone exports are likely to have slowed this year due to recessionary conditions globally and consumers refraining from spending in several markets, which forced many handset makers including Samsung to adjust production.

In 2022-23, Samsung India’s mobile phone business had raked in revenue of Rs 70,292 crore (exports and domestic sales), as per filings to the Registrar of Companies. The figure surpassed standalone revenues of ITC (Rs 70,251 crore) and HUL (Rs 59,144 crore).

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The filings showed Samsung India achieved Rs 37,486 crore worth of exports, which included exports of handsets, its components and other electronic products. Samsung has not disclosed product wise export sales.

As per Counterpoint Research, the Korean electronics giant outperformed Chinese brands to become India’s top smartphone brand in 2023 by unit shipments, regaining the pole position for the first time since 2017. Samsung closed the year with 18% market share, followed closely by Vivo at 17%, Xiaomi at 16.5% and Realme at 12%.

The researcher also said Samsung’s arch-rival Apple shipments in India crossed the 10-million sales unit mark in 2023, becoming the top handset company by revenue for the first time ever in a calendar year. Samsung was the largest by revenue till 2022.

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Rao said Samsung would aim to wrest back leadership even by revenue in 2024 by growing faster than the market and strong performance of its A-series handsets.

“We are also focusing a lot more on the Rs 30,000-50,000 segment which is the fastest growing right now by launching smartphones with flagship innovations at affordable price points. Our A-series handsets aim to democratise innovation,” he said.

Samsung sells the A-series handsets in the Rs 8,700 to Rs 46,000 price band. It is not only the company’s largest selling series but also for the industry for the past two years.

Harry Byrne

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