New Delhi, March 23 : Samsung today launched its flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones in India, within three weeks of the global launch, as the Korean electronics giant looks to compete with rival Apple’s iPhone6.
The company said it will also manufacture the sixth edition of the flagship devices at its Noida facility in the first half of the year.
“India is among the select 20 countries for the first phase of launch of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The Indian R&D team has made a valuable contribution in making these smartphones. .. We also plan to begin manufacturing these devices in India in the first half of this year,” Samsung India Vice President Marketing (Mobile and IT) Asim Warsi told PTI.
He added that India-manufactured devices will be primarily targeted at the domestic consumption. Warsi said the pre-booking for the devices is open from today and would be up for sale from April 10.
Samsung, which is the world’s as well as India’s largest smartphone player, had unveiled the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month.
The company’s facility at Noida has a capacity of producing over four million mobile phones a month and manufactures both affordable and high-end devices.
The Galaxy S6 will be offered in three storage options — 32 GB (Rs 49,900), 64 GB (Rs 55,900) and 128 GB (Rs 61,900). The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is priced at Rs 58,900 (32 GB), Rs 64,900 (64GB), and Rs 70,900 (128 GB).
In the past years, Samsung’s global competitor Apple has made inroads in the Indian smartphone market. Its latest offering — the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — were launched in India in October 2014 with prices starting at Rs 53,500.
The high-end model was available for Rs 80,500 at the time of launch. Both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available in 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB versions.
Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will compete in the premium category, which accounts for less than a per cent of sales in volume terms but about 20 per cent in value terms.
According to IDC, about 22.5 million smartphones were shipped in India in the October-December 2014 quarter with Samsung accounting for 22 per cent share.
The Indian market, which is driven primarily by affordable devices, saw domestic firms like Micromax and Intex following in the tally with 18 per cent and eight per cent share, respectively in the reported quarter.
The S6 and S6 Edge feature 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screens, have the world’s first 14 nano meter mobile processor with 64-bit platform, 16 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras and 2,550 mAh battery (2,600 mAh in S6 Edge).