SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Budget smartphone manufacturers are strengthening their model lineup in the South Korean market, industry sources said Friday, in a bid to attract consumers seeking cheaper options in the new year.
Samsung Electronics Co. plans to release the 5.6-inch Galaxy A8 and the 6-inch Galaxy A8 Plus in January, which retain many of the top features of Samsung’s high-end devices, such as the mobile payment system Samsung Pay.
The price tag on the devices is estimated at around 600,000 won (US$560), well below the 1.09 million won for the high-end Galaxy Note 8, released in September.
Samsung said the Galaxy A8 smartphone is the first Galaxy device to adopt a dual-lens camera on the front. The products will come with 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras for selfies, along with a main 16-megapixel camera on the back.
It is also the first Galaxy A product to support Samsung’s virtual reality device, the Gear VR.
LG Electronics Inc., Samsung’s smaller South Korean rival, will introduce its K10 smartphone next month. The new device, which is expected to be released at between 300,000 won and 400,000 won, supports LG’s mobile payment platform, LG Pay.
Foreign tech firms also have been taking steps to tap deeper into the South Korean market — which is largely dominated by Samsung, Apple and LG — with relatively affordable devices.
Chinese tech giant TCL released the BlackBerry KEYOne Black Edition in the local market earlier this month, which comes with a 4.5-inch display and a physical QWERTY keyboard printed with the Korean alphabet. The factory price of the device stands at 583,000 won, while discounts of up to 250,000 won are provided depending on monthly plans.