South Korean phonemaker Samsung, which has been losing market share to rivals in India, is gearing up to launch two premium devices — the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 — to take on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The company has started talking to distributors and retailers to launch these devices in time for Diwali, ahead of the launch of the Apple devices in October.
Unlike previous Samsung phones that were clad in a plastic body, these will be the first Samsung phones with an external metal casing, something that iPhones have had for long. Priced a little over Rs 40,000 a piece, the Galaxy Alpha is expected to be cheaper than the new iPhone 6 but will have better features, an offline distributor briefed on Samsung's plans said.
The Galaxy Alpha, showcased by Samsung last month, has a partial metallic body, 4.7-inch screen and a top-of-the-line processor. It's the company's bet against iPhone 6 in the premium segment.
Samsung also announced the allnew Galaxy Note 4 with a 5.7-inch screen at IFA, the consumer electronics show in Berlin earlier this month. While Samsung has had big screen phones for a long time, the iPhone 6 Plus would be Apple's first such big device.
Apple's iPhones have traditionally been smaller in size. In 2010, when Apple was selling the iPhone 4, its iconic founder Steve Jobs had mocked rivals making big phones by saying that people won't buy phones if they couldn't even wrap their hands around them. Tim Cook, who took over Apple after Jobs' untimely death three years ago, has positioned the new iPhone 6 devices as phones that are "bigger than bigger".
Samsung didn't pass over the opportunity to take a dig at Apple. The South Korean company tweeted on Wednesday: "Big improvements and innovation come with change — even they thought so."
Samsung also released a graphic which actually quoted Steve Jobs: "No one is going to buy a big phone." It went on to add, "Guess who surprised themselves and changed their minds." With nearly 28 per cent market share, Samsung is the largest selling smartphone brand in the country followed by homegrown Micromax.
However, in the premium segment, it faces stiff competition from Apple's iPhone.