Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005935) has, apparently, not given up on the Windows Phone because the company is reportedly testing a new 5-inch-display Smartphone powered by Windows Phone OS to launch in India. According to a recent import data leak, Samsung has shipped 25 SM-W750V Smartphones to India for R&D (Research & Development) purposes in late November. The Korean electronics giant has quoted INR. 31,967 (nearly US$513) as per unit price for the handheld, which has been obtained by Zauba – a website that mysteriously tracks down all devices imported and exported out of India.
Even though there is not much device information mentioned, but a quick look-up on the internet for the device code SM-W750V has helped us to reach heandsetdetection.com. A quick search on the site threw a one liner, but a fairly important, piece of information :
The image clearly speaks about compatibility, OS and processor type which the Samsung Windows Phone could be loaded with.
So, how did we zero in on $750 as the retail price for SM-W750V ? Let’s roll back a few months when Samsung shipped Galaxy Note 3 (GT-N900) to India for R&D. The leaked handheld of that time quoted a unit price for GT-N900 as Rs. 31,967 (US$513) – exactly the same price that has been quoted against SM-W750V. Later, the company added another $300 dollars on the quoted price, which resulted in a launch price of $830, later discounted to $775 (Rs. 46,750).
Samsung Exploring A Possible Alternative To Android ?
It’s important to have a brief understanding about why Samsung is exploring alternatives for Android in spite of leading the market with distinction on the same platform. As rumours often claim Samsung has been accused of hijacking Android from Google, thanks to an aggressive marketing that has helped Samsung to capture 63% of Android devices market globally. HTC presents the closest competition to Samsung with mere 6.5% share of Android devices in the market.
Google is closely monitoring this space. At the MWC 2013, this was an open debate among all Googlers about what measures should be taken against Samsung to crush its exaggerated growth with the Android OS. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility has been seen as a step towards setting up a strong competition in the Android market to kill Samsung’s unimpeded dominance.
Is Samsung Seeing India As A Potential Windows Phone Market ?
India and China are among the top three largest mobile countries by number of subscribers. The contribution of Smartphones in 2013 is relatively low in India though, the country is estimated to become the second largest by contributing 10.3% to global Smartphone handsets market by 2017.
Samsung is the largest mobile handset vendor in India and controlled 32.9% of total Smartphone sales in Q3, 2013. The growing competition from homegrown vendors, such as Micromax and Karbonn, are keeping the Korean mobile phone giant on its toes. Top three local Smartphone vendors Micromax, Karbonn and Lava together controlled 33% of total Smartphone sales in Q3, 2013 by riding upon the Android OS. However, Nokia – the lone survivor on Windows Phone – is not able to improve Microsoft’s share in the Indian Smartphone market.
Apparently, Samsung sees the current demography of Smartphone OSes in India as an opportunity. To improve its overall market share the company is getting all its eggs out of the single basket and is mixing them with the Windows Phone OS – a place where local Smartphone vendors are still not comfortable enough with the proposition of integration.