The Galaxy M-series debuted in India with the launch of the Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 back in late January, and Samsung's new range has already crossed the milestone of two million sales, Samsung India Senior Vice President of Mobile Business Asim Warsi told Gadgets 360 on Wednesday. The Galaxy M family went on sale in the country in early February, and since its availability, the executive revealed that the new range has helped double the company's online sales, as compared to last year. In March, the Seoul-based company added the Galaxy M30 to its new series that is targeting millennials and young smartphone users. The company is now gearing up to add a new smartphone - Samsung Galaxy M40 - in the lineup.
"The Galaxy M-series is playing a very pivotal role in our growth story," Warsi said. "We've had the Galaxy On series selling in online over the last three years. M-series is a complete makeover of that. It's simply taken the consumer and the market by storm if you go by the sales, search, and the kind of conversations — digital, social conversations. That's helping our business."
The Galaxy M-series was launched in India earlier this year targeting the price bracket between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 13,000. Samsung in March broadened the market by introducing the Galaxy M30 that starts at Rs. 14,990 and goes up to Rs. 17,990. The South Korean giant, however, is now set to expand the family by launching the Galaxy M40 that is set to arrive on June 11. It will come at a price point of around Rs. 20,000, Warsi told Gadgets 360.
By offering its Galaxy M-series exclusively through Amazon.in and its own online store, Samsung is taking on a host of Chinese players that often use online channels to reach the youth in the country. Warsi specified that the company would continue to retain the online exclusivity model.
Samsung Galaxy M10 was the first phone in the new online-only range
“M-series that is specifically tailored for the online buyers because of what their preferences of devices, expectations for devices are," the executive said.
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that a lot of enquiry for the Galaxy M-series are there in offline channels as well.
"Accessibilities has always been very good through offline but is also improved rapidly in the online world," emphasised Warsi.
Amazon India Director of Category Management Noor Patel said that the Galaxy M-series was one of the biggest launches for the online marketplace in the first quarter.
"The [Galaxy M] series is a great example of leveraging customer insights from Amazon.in to craft products that customers seek and value," Patel said in an emailed statement to Gadgets 360. "In fact, this was Samsung's India-first series and their M20 and M10 became our number one bestsellers in the launch quarter. Even after four months, they continue to remain highly rated."
Unlike the Galaxy M-series models that are designed specifically for online-first customers, Samsung has its Galaxy A series that surpassed the mark of two million sales last month — just 40 days after their launch in early March.
However, some of the Galaxy A models compete with the Galaxy M phones, thanks to their similar specifications and prices. If you look at the Galaxy A10 that recently received a price cut and is currently on sale at Rs. 7,990, it has the same price as the Galaxy M10.
Warsi acclaimed that both the new ranges are "completely co-existing very smoothly and very harmoniously" in the Indian market, and there is no price or feature co-relation that needs to be enforced. "Conventional experience or knowledge would have told us that [Galaxy] A and [Galaxy] M [series] have to kind of be coordinated in pricing and features," he said. "The result is different."
The feature set and pricing of the Galaxy A and Galaxy M families are in line with what Chinese contenders such as Oppo and Xiaomi are offering in the Indian market. There are dual and triple cameras, thin-bezel displays, and gradient finishes, all under Rs. 30,000.
But nonetheless, Warsi told Gadgets 360 that Samsung has offered product differentiation in many ways. "Whether it is software, UX, OTT apps, hardware, from time to time, we will purposefully innovate and differentiate ourselves," he stressed.
The executive also highlighted that while Samsung looks at the industry, competition, and trends, it's the customer interest that plays an important role in building new strategies. "At the cost of reputation, our beacon — our guiding light — is always, over the years and into the future will remain the consumer," he said.
Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Principal Analyst of research firm TechArc, told Gadgets 360 that particularly the Samsung Galaxy M-series has been able to make a mark in a market otherwise dominated by the Chinese brands.
"It has exactly been able to address to the needs of the specs-hungry segment which was preferring Chinese brands previously," said Kawoosa. "Now, they have additionally Samsung trust. However, we should let the performance speak for some more time to make a definite conclusion."
Counterpoint Research Associated Director Tarun Pathak stated that the Galaxy M-series models need continuous upgrades to drive the momentum, adding that the series has managed to already capture mindshare. "The device shelf life is smaller in online as the segment is very competitive," he told Gadgets 360.
According to the Q1 2019 data released by Counterpoint Research last month, Samsung managed to capture 23 percent of market share for the first quarter of 2019, down 3 percentage points year-on-year. The analyst firm said that the Galaxy A and Galaxy M-series models contributed to three-fifths of Samsung's total smartphone shipments during the quarter.