Samsung’s 2021 flagship lineup has arrived, and for many regions, the Galaxy S21 will likely be the go-to option for those who want a flagship experience. The company even went so far as to reduce the prices of these new handsets in many markets, a move that should put other phone makers on notice.
But if you start looking at prices in different regions, you’ll notice a rather egregious price hike in India, compared to prices here in the U.S. The devices start at $799 and go up to $1199 here in the States, but the same exact phones are up to more than $250 more expensive in India.
Here’s a quick comparison of the prices between India and here in the US for each model at its base configuration:
|Galaxy S21||₹69,999 / ~$958||$799.99|
|Galaxy S21+||₹81,999 / ~$1,122||$999.99|
|Galaxy S21 Ultra||₹105,999 / ~$1,450||$1,199.99|
That’s quite the difference for the same device, and surprisingly it does not have anything to do with any tariffs or other import taxes, as all of the phones that are sold in India, are made there.
It’s all about 5G and Apple
When Apple released the iPhone 12 lineup, with 5G connectivity in-tow, it’s entirely plausible that Samsung felt the pressure to follow suit in all markets. The problem is that 5G is useless in India, as none of the carriers are currently offering 5G connectivity. That means that you’ll have to pay a premium for a device that cannot be used to its full potential.
Samsung made a different decision last year with the Galaxy S20’s release in India. While most of the rest of the world received the versions with 5G onboard, the models released in India were 4G-only, which makes perfect sense considering the state of 5G in the country. For some reason, Samsung took a huge leap backward for those in India hoping to get the Galaxy S21 this year.
Now, we aren’t entirely sure as to whether Samsung is just following Apple’s lead in India. But it does appear that way, as the company also followed in Apple’s footsteps in regards to removing the fast charger from the packaging. So all signs point to a Samsung and Apple battle for superiority over a network connectivity feature that cannot even be taken advantage of.
What does this mean?
It will be interesting to see how well the Galaxy S21 performs now that the prices have been revealed. Now it’s just a waiting game to see what happens when these devices officially launch. But paying that premium is not all-that enticing, which could open the door for other phone makers to seize the opportunity.
Samsung’s market share will likely shrink in India, whereas other phone makers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi will attempt to fill out the rest of the market.