Offline Retailers Criticize Samsung for Exclusive Launch of Galaxy M13 and F13 Devices for Online Channel, Telecom News, ET Telecom

NEW DELHI: Offline retailers have slammed Korean handset maker Samsung for exclusively launching the Galaxy M13 and F13 smartphones online, alleging the brand deprives the retail of its “right to serve the customer and offer the latest product to the customer”.

“(We) oppose the repeated practice of offering preferential treatment online by offering exclusive launches and offering sales during the window period, depriving the retail of its right to serve the customer and to offer the latest product to the customer,” Navneet Pathak, Joint General Secretary, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) said in a letter dated July 21 to Raju A. Pullan, Senior Vice President Mobile Business, Samsung India.

The letter is also addressed to Ministry of Finance, Directorate of Tax Intelligence, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Competition Commission of India and other agencies as well as industrial organizations.

The Galaxy M13 went on sale on July 23 at a starting price of Rs 13,999, while the Galaxy F13 goes on sale from June 29 in India starting at Rs 11,999.

Pathak, in the letter, added that Samsung has not provided visibility on the retail availability of the smartphones listed above, which “remains a genuine cause for concern for those who have traveled with the brand wholeheartedly to en do number one”.

Offline retailers, in turn, reiterated their demand to ensure and maintain a level playing field across both platforms by offering products at the same price, same time and same patterns to maintain “a quotient of high customer satisfaction and high satisfaction instead of denying his right to buy the product at the place of his choice instead of pushing to buy online”.

Counterpoint Research now estimates its annual forecast at 175-177 million units from its original estimate of 181 million. IDC India is also considering a downward revision to its initial 5% annual growth estimate.

“At AIMRA, we have never been against any platform or policy, but we have always been focused on creating a level playing field for all and sharing contributions when it hurts retail and brand,” Pathak added. India’s smartphone market shrank 5% sequentially in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, to 36.4 million units, as major brands struggled to switch units as consumer demand waned , according to Canalys.

Xiaomi maintained its market leading position, shipping 7 million units, while Samsung came in second with 6.7 million shipments, Samsung came in second, closing in on Xiaomi. Remaining in third place, Realme shipped 6.1 million units. Vivo and Oppo rounded out the top five, shipping 6.0 million and 5.5 million units respectively, according to the research firm.