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Competition heats up for budget smartphones

Shin Ji-hye

The Korea Herald

| Sat, December 30, 2017 | 12:07 pm
Competition heats up for budget smartphones

Industry watchers said the tech firms will focus more on affordable yet quality smartphones amid growing competition in the global smartphone market.  (Shutterstock.com/File)

Samsung, LG and Chinese smartphone makers are slated to unveil a diverse range of smartphones early next year to appeal to customers in the lull before launching their flagship models, including the Galaxy S9 and LG G7. 

In January next year, Samsung Electronics will release its mid-end smartphone Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus, which will sport a 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel dual front camera made up of two separate cameras, in a first for Samsung phones. The new camera will enable users to switch between the two to take different types of selfies -- from close-ups to portraits with clear backgrounds. 

Its local rival, LG Electronics, is also slated to launch its new K series, K10. It is expected to be the company’s first mid-range smartphone to come with LG Pay, a mobile payment solution usually reserved for high-end devices. The K10 is also expected to sport a 5.3-inch display that will support full high-definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. 

Samsung and LG’s new affordable smartphones are predicted to be unveiled during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show early next year. 

Read also: Xiaomi launches smartphone for entry-level market

Chinese smartphone makers are also penetrating the Korean market with a diverse range of budget smartphones in partnership with local mobile carriers and retailers. 

China’s largest handset maker, Huawei, unveiled its Be Y Phone 2 this month along with local mobile carrier KT to make it available only for local users. The variant model of Huawei’s flagship model P10 Lite sports a 5.2-inch display, fingerprint scanner and fast-charging function. 

Another Chinese firm Xiaomi also unveiled its budget phone Mi A1 in partnership with local retailer G-mobi Korea. The Mi A1 costs 299,000 won ($279) and has a 12-megapixel dual camera as well as a fingerprint scanner. 

Industry watchers said the tech firms will focus more on affordable yet quality smartphones amid growing competition in the global smartphone market. 

“Samsung and LG used to make sales plans centering on flagship models but they appear to be changing their strategy by introducing more lineups to appeal to a diverse customer base,” said Joo Dae-young, a researcher at Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.

This article appeared on The Korea Herald newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post
 
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