May 14, 2019 / 1:58 PM / a year ago

Samsung says new smartphone series off to strong start in India

FILE PHOTO: A journalist uses a mobile phone as he works outside the Samsung Electronics smartphone manufacturing facility in Noida, India, July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics has sold 5 million units of its Galaxy A series smartphones, generating sales of over $1 billion since it began selling the devices in March, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

The South Korean electronics giant is expecting the Galaxy A series of phones, priced between 5,290 rupees ($75.11) to 28,990 rupees ($411.59), to bring in sales of $4 billion this year.

“Just in 70 days of launch this range of six models has delivered $1 billion of revenue,” Ranjivjit Singh, Samsung India’s chief marketing officer, told Reuters in an interview.

Singh declined to give a revenue forecast for the company’s overall mobile phone business in India, the world’s second biggest mobile phone market after China.

Samsung’s mobile phone sales in India hit 373.5 billion rupees ($5.30 billion) in the fiscal year ended-March 2018, according to regulatory filings.

Samsung, once the unrivalled leader in India’s fast-growing smartphone segment, has faced fierce competition from upstarts such as China’s Xiaomi Corp and Oppo which have launched cheap devices with competitive specs and used the glitz of Bollywood and cricket to sell them.

It had a 23 percent share of India’s smartphone market by shipments in the quarter to March, behind Xiaomi, according to Hong Kong-based tech researcher Counterpoint.

Samsung is using the A series and M series phones, targeted at millennials to try to claw back ground ceded to rivals.

(This version of the story removes extraneous word in headline)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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