Sales of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the latest offering from the South Korean electronics giant, reached roughly Rp 37.5 billion (US$3.85 million) during the 10-day pre-sale period conducted last month by Samsung’s local arm, PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia (SEIN), in conjunction with selected retailers and mobile phone operators.
Andreas Rompis, the vice president of Samsung Indonesia’s mobile division, noted that 5,000 of the premium smartphone were sold during the pre-sale period.
“Most of the phones were sold out during the first week of the pre-sale,” he said during the launch of the Galaxy S4 in Jakarta.
He added that Samsung expected the sales of their latest premium phones to surpass that of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 combined.
“We are targeting premium smartphone users instead of those at the entry level,” he said. He declined to reveal the sales figures for either the S3 or Note 2.
The launch of the Galaxy S4 follows closely behind the introduction of the HTC One —HTC’s first premium Android smartphone of this year— last week.
Prior to HTC, Sony’s Xperia Z officially debuted in the market and earlier in the year, BlackBerry began sales of their BlackBerry Z10 in the domestic market.
Like the Galaxy S4, these smartphones are priced at Rp 7 million and above, the same price bracket as Apple’s iPhone.
Andreas pointed out that to push their premium smartphones in the Indonesian market, Samsung would continue partnering with distributors, mobile phone operators and banks, which would provide buyers with credit.
Samsung mentioned PT XL Axiata (EXCL), PT Erajaya Swasembada (ERAA) and PT Bank Central Asia (BBCA) as a few of their partners.
The strategy Samsung has adopted is commonplace among mobile phone vendors.
BlackBerry, for example, forged a partnership with Erajaya Swasembada for the nationwide distribution of the Z10.
Andreas said that the release of the Galaxy S4 into the market would further solidify Samsung’s current stronghold.
“As many as 4 out of 5 Android smartphones sold are Samsung-made,” he claimed.
He pointed out that the Android platform grew around 141 percent in 2012, well above the 30 percent
growth that the overall smartphone market recorded.
“And Samsung, with its longtime experience with the Android platform, has contributed significantly to the Indonesian market,” he said.
However, he noted Samsung sought to fortify their market share not only in the premium segment, but also the low and middle divisions.
The Indonesian mobile phone scene is still dominated by feature phones with an 80 percent share of the market.
“Almost three out of 10 mobile phones are Samsung,” Andreas said.
“And we want to up this number,” he added, although without mentioning targets.
Yoo Young Kim, the president director of Samsung Electronics Indonesia, said that Samsung was
counting on the technology embedded in the Galaxy S4 to drive consumer purchases.
Indonesia remains behind in terms of smartphone penetration compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors, with a country such as Singapore being almost entirely a smartphone market, analysts have said.