Samsung Electronics has plans to build four more state-of-the-art experience centers in India to display its end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, currently planned in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad. IoT lets people better connect to and retrieve valuable data from their devices. Samsung said the new experience centers will familiarize consumers with smart solutions — particularly for smarter homes but also businesses — and they are expected to boost company sales.
The company opened its first mobile experience center for the Indian market in Bengaluru last year. The 33,000-sq.ft shop at the Opera House (a unique, standalone hall used throughout the British time to stage shows) is currently Samsung’s largest mobile experience center.
The Opera House showcases all of Samsung’s IoT-enabled products, including smartphones and wearable devices. Customers can enjoy hands-on experiences, testing out the company’s virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) products. Customers can also pre-book the Opera House’s home theatre to watch movies.
“We will launch four more such centers in other metro cities,” said Raju Pullan, senior vice-president, consumer electronics business, Samsung India. The timeline for these new centers has yet to be disclosed. However, the company says it will eventually add similar “experience zones” to its branded stores.
“Samsung Bixby is the program that we are investing in India,” explained Pullan. Bigby is the company’s virtual assistant. “The investments on Bixby have not only stayed in mobiles or TV but also to make, for instance, refrigerators smarter. Like the Family Hub (for) the fridge, the microwave, and washing device can also be connected to one environment.”
Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerators enable users to answer calls or access third-party apps from a Galaxy smartphone. These smart fridges can also suggest nearby restaurants, share notes, photographs, videos, and music.
From smart refrigerators to smart TVs
In addition to smart appliances, Samsung says it’s extending its flat-screen TV business in India, revealing a new line of premium TVs.
Samsung and other consumer electronics providers predict a substantial increase in television sales owing to a growing middle class and interesting television programs (such as Netflix, Apple, and Sky). With more than one billion customers in India, recent reports suggest that the flat-screen TV market is worth more than USD 3 billion.
TV sales will also gain a boost during the upcoming holiday season when retailers typically offer big discounts. According to Raju Pullan, senior VP with Samsung, the company’s strategic target is a 34 percent market share in November. Pullan estimates Samsung’s prevailing market share at about 30 percent. Samsung currently owns the top spot in the country’s TV market.
Recently, Samsung’s vice chairman, Lee Jae-Yong visited India and is expected to commit to new investment plans for business development in the country — according to the Korean news agency, Yonhap.
“The South Korean technology giant may make further investment to increase its presence in the world’s second-largest smartphone market,” Yonhap stated. Samsung is one of the leading suppliers to the country’s largest telecom operator, Reliance Jio, and is expected to soon join the 5G business.
Two of Samsung top rivals, Vivo and Oppo, have already made massive investments to ramp up their mobile manufacturing assembly in the country. The government has also severed the tax rate for corporations by almost 10 percentage points to 25.17 percent. They also proposed a lower rate of 17.01 percent for new manufacturers in a bid to sustain the economic growth pace from a six-year low. Such incentives are expected to revitalize the economy and grow employment.
Samsung is currently the second-largest smartphone seller in India. According to Counterpoint Research, the Korean firm’s smartphone shipments grew from 20 percent from October to December 2018 to 25 percent between April and June 2019. During the holidays, Samsung anticipates clocking a business of around Rs 3,000 crore from the business of over 20 lakh mobile phones online.
The Indian electronics industry is progressing through an interesting phase due to innovative changes in technology, the initiation of innovative products (such as IoT and 5G), and the trials of global competition. This means manufacturers will have to work steadily on advancing their products to remain successful.