Samsung to take Galaxy M smartphones offline too, Technology News, ETtech

Samsung to take Galaxy M smartphones offline too, Technology News, ETtech

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Samsung to take Galaxy M smartphones offline too
Samsung India has issued a trade advisory saying its forthcoming launch of Galaxy M series smartphones will not be online exclusive as was originally planned and will also be done in brick-and-mortar stores.

Galaxy M has been an online exclusive smartphone series, but Samsung has decided to take it offline as well, heeding to demand from offline retail lobbies for smartphone makers to curb launch of online exclusive models and offers since these hurt their business.

Tw o senior industry executives said Samsung India mobile phone business team informed retailers about this decision through WhatsApp groups on Friday .

The company has joined Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Realme in responding to demand of offline retailers who had said their festive business slipped 30-40% this year due to online exclusive models and deep discounting on them.

Th e government, too, has warned ecommerce platforms against predatory pricing even as offline lobbies, including Confederation of All India Traders and All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), have increased agitation against Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart, alleging deep discounting during Diwali and that brands too are hands-in-glove on this .

Sam sung’s WhatsApp message read: “We look forward to provide the next new launch of M series model in offline at the same time and same price. We shall evaluate the incremental value proposition for our consumers, channel partners and retailers, and take further action accordingly.”

ET has seen a copy of the advisory. An email sent to Samsung India remained unanswered as of press time Sunday.

“This will give some relief to offline mobile phone retailers whose festive business was down by 30-40%,” AIMRA president Arvinder Khurana said. “If after this we still see discounting or offers on smartphones in online, then it can be confirmed that marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart have a role in manipulating prices,” he said.

Amazon and Flipkart, however, have strongly denied claims on deep discounting and have told offline trade and government that all discounts are funded by brands and sellers.

Last month, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme had said they would curb online exclusive models or reduce the gap between their launch in online and offline. They have also promised same price and consumer offers to offline trade.

Ecommerce currently accounts for more than 40% of smartphone sales in India.

Industry executives said new Galaxy M phones are set to hit the market in January and Samsung’s trade advisory will come into effect then.

Samsung is India’s second largest smartphone maker after Chinese rival Xiaomi and had this year renewed its online focus with the M series.

Mobile phone makers created a distinct portfolio of online-exclusive models in the past few years after retailers protested about ecommerce discount on the regular models during festive season that had hit their sales.

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