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Samsung aims to double online smartphone sales in India

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics aims to double its online smartphone sales in India this year to $1 billion, driven largely by a new budget range of devices, the head of the mobile business for the country said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A journalist has the new Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone during a press event in London, great Britain February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

Smartphones and fashion are some of the most popular purchases in India, the rapidly growing e-commerce market, which Deloitte expects to more than treble between 2017 and 2021 $84 billion.

The South Korean tech giant in February launched the M-series of phones in India which are sold exclusively via the Samsung website and Amazon.com’s local unit.

That range of devices, for a price between 7,990 rupees ($114.23) and 17,990 rupees ($257.20), has sold more than 2 million units since the launch and will help Samsung double its online sales, Asim Warsi, senior vice president of Samsung India, told Reuters in an interview.

“Business-to-consumer sales in the online market are expected to be $4.5 billion this year, and if that is so, we need approximately 25 percent of the market,” Warsi said.

Samsung is facing fierce competition in the world of the second-largest smartphone market, where it once was the clear leader, of rivals, such as chinese Xiaomi Corp., which sells most of the cheap, high-quality phones online.

Hong kong-based tech researcher Counterpoint linked Xiaomi is the market share based on shipments by 29 percent in the quarter to March, ahead of Samsung at 23 percent.

Samsung, which assembles all the phones it sells in India locally, has fought back by rescheduling its smartphone portfolio, the launch of the M-series, which is only sold online, and an a-series sells offline.

“All of these launches keep us in very good double-digit growth of nick,” Warsi said, adding Samsung would be launching a new M-series phone in June, priced around 20,000 rupees.

Samsung is the total sales of mobile phones in India touched 373.5 billion rupees in the 12 months to the end of March 2018, according to the legal registrations.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Euan Rocha and Jan Harvey

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