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Phones

Samsung opens its largest store in former opera house

The company is trying to beat Apple and Chinese rivals in the world's second biggest smartphone market: India.

INDIA-ECONOMY-TELECOM-SAMSUNG

The Samsung Opera House opened in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Manjunath Kiran / AFP/Getty Images

Samsung opened its biggest store worldwide in India on Tuesday.

The 33,000-square-foot store -- known as the Samsung Opera House -- opened in the southern city of Bangalore, as the company tries to beat Chinese rivals in one of the world's largest smartphone markets.

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Apple has no flagship stores in India, Reuters noted, though iPhones and other Apple devices are available through resellers and online marketplaces. Apple has just 1 percent of the smartphone market in India, according to Reuters. Chinese phone maker Xiaomi leads the smartphone market in the country with a nearly 30 percent share, according to IDC, while Samsung comes in second with 23 percent.

Samsung is showcasing its full lineup of smartphones and wearable devices at the Bangalore store alongside consumer electronics products like TVs and appliances. Visitors can also try the company's VR experiences there.

The building, which hosted plays and operas when India was ruled by Britain, was restored over a two-year period, according to Samsung. The facade's original look was maintained, while the interior was modernized.

"Opera House will also organize workshops, activities and events, bringing together Samsung's innovations with people's passions," said HC Hong, CEO and president of Samsung SouthWest Asia, in a press release. "We are proud of the transformation that this place has seen."

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.

In July, the company opened one of the world's largest phone factories in Noida, near the outskirts of New Delhi, as it increases its presence in the fastest-growing mobile phone market.

First published Sept. 11, 8:34 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:06 a.m. PT: Added more background.