Indian consumers are spending more on premium phones than ever, a sign that signals where the top-end of the segment is heading in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. In fact, the demand for Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is in the range of Rs 1,09,999 and Rs 1,34,999 was so high in the month of March that the device accounted for 74 per cent of the sales volumes of the 81 per cent market share held by the company in the Rs 100,000 segment, showed data from research firm Counterpoint Research.
“This device [Galaxy S22 Ultra] has got adoption from a Note user, from an S power user, and even from the competition so everybody has adopted it,” Aditya Babbar, senior director and head of Product Marketing, Mobile Business, Samsung India, tells indianexpress.com.
When Samsung debuted the Galaxy S22 Ultra earlier this year, it featured the iconic S Pen, and many thought the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note line would be a setback for the South Korean company. In reality, however, the convergence of the Galaxy Note and S lines has created an increased demand for a device like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. In a way, the Galaxy S22 Ultra added a new spin to the Galaxy Note device that has always targeted the power user but never appealed to the mainstream S series user.
Babbar acknowledged that the launch of the Galaxy S22 Ultra has actually pushed consumers to open their wallets and opt for Samsung Galaxy phones at the top-end of the market. That’s especially impressive, not only for Samsung but for the entire premium smartphone segment. “ It is really encouraging to see how people have jumped the price point to really get into the ultra segment and get the best of the best,” he says.
Although Samsung faces fierce competition from Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi and Vivo, Apple continues to be its only competitor in the ultra-premium segment. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is seen as the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s biggest rival in the top-end of the segment.
But India’s premium smartphone segment isn’t limited just to Delhi and Mumbai, the growth story is increasingly about tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Babbar says he and his team are reaching out to young affluent consumers in India’s smaller cities and asking them how they want to buy a new Samsung phone. That’s where Samsung Finance Plus, a digital lending platform that wants to make Galaxy smartphone more accessible, comes in.
“There were always higher aspirations, but the affordability was not there,” Babbar said, adding that with the Samsung Finance Plus…consumers can pay easily, and also get the benefit of a cashback..helping them to upgrade to a new phone.