Shopping for a new TV? Here's some good news for you: Samsung Electronics has cut prices of its top-selling models by 5-15 per cent. According to The Economic Times The price reduction ranges from around Rs 1,000- Rs 2,500 in the 32 to 43 inch screen size segment - which accounts for 80 per cent of the television market by volume - to Rs 45,000 (15 per cent discount) for the 75-inch models.
Incidentally, this is the second time in two months that the South Korean giant has slashed rates on its television sets - in June it had lowered prices by 10-20 per cent for some other models. Citing industry insiders, the report added that this is the first time that Samsung has cut prices of new models less than two months after launching them in an attempt to consolidate its leading spot.
The company not only wants to stay ahead of online focused brands such as TCL, Xiaomi, BPL, Vu, Sanyo and Kodak, which have already cornered about 14 per cent share of the market, but also prevent erosion of its 30 per cent market share. It clearly does not want a repeat of its experience in the smartphone segment, where its rivals had overtaken it - albeit briefly. According to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Samsung regained leadership by 1 percentage point in April-June after two quarters.
"Samsung is trying to match up with the prices of the price-aggressive television brands who are slowly gaining share. The price cut has been done on the entry-level models for each size to offer customers good value for money," Vishal Mewani, director of Mumbai-based electronics chain Kohinoor, told the daily.
However, despite the price drop, Samsung TVs are pricier than some of its rivals. For instance, its 43-inch TV costs Rs 37,000, along with a gift, while a similar TCL model is priced at Rs 28,490. It remains to be seen whether buyers get wooed by Samsung's higher brand value and the promise of better after-sales service.
In the meantime, Samsung's new strategy has caught rivals on the wrong foot. With the cost of display panels going up globally, the industry had been gearing up for a price hike. But sources say that the latest price cuts have forced other biggies in the business like LG, Panasonic and Sony to either hold prices or cut them. Panasonic, for one, has cut prices on a few models above 40 inches. But the smaller player will suffer more.
According to Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics - which makes Thomson and Kodak televisions that are exclusively sold online - Samsung and LG, the biggest manufacturers of display panels globally, have increased prices of the component while cutting prices of their televisions in India. "This is making competition tough in the affordable category since we are compelled to hike prices by 10-11 per cent before the festive season," he told the daily. BPL, likewise, will increase prices by 6-9 per cent around mid-September.
But if you have your heart set on a Samsung TV, there's more to look forward to. A Samsung India spokesperson told the daily that the company will be offering cashback and EMI schemes and gifts in the upcoming festival season to gain significant TV market share.
Edited By Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal