SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Smartphone companies and mobile carriers are targeting niche customers that are price-sensitive but seeking high-quality products.
These lower-cost premium smartphones usually sell in the price range between 600,000 won ($540) and 700,000 won, roughly 300,000 won less than conventional premium smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 7 or LG’s V20, but with rather impressive technical specifications.
Korea’s leading mobile carrier, SK Telecom, held an exclusive launch for an upgraded Galaxy A8, with improved battery life, memory, and camera resolution compared to the existing model launched last year.
The new phone is now equipped with an Exynos 7 (7420) mobile processor and 3GB of RAM, the same specifications as the Galaxy S6. Its retail price is set at 649,000 won, which can be reduced to 399,000 with subsidies, according to the company.
In addition to the Galaxy A8, SK Telecom also plans to release the LUNA 2 on October 12. And just like its predecessor LUNA, LUNA 2 is a joint venture between SK Telecom and TG&Co., a local tech company, and manufactured by Foxconn.
LUNA 2 will come with more premium features, including a fingerprint sensor and a full metal enclosure for increased durability, unlike LUNA, which was marketed more as a mid to lower-priced budget smartphone. The price of LUNA 2 is expected to fall in the 600,000-won range.
Sony’s Xperia XZ is expected to be launched on October 10, and to be priced at 798,600 won.
The model has the world’s first 13-megapixel front camera, on top of IP68 certification for water and dust resistance. It is also equipped with a triple image sensing technology, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage (64GB for the dual-SIM model).
Industry watchers expect the marketing competition for such smartphones to heighten throughout the month, with vendors hoping to attract as many consumers as possible before the iPhone 7 joins Korea’s premium smartphone market at the end of October.
“These smartphones will target customers that still seek products with premium technical specifications, but at the same time, are more budget-sensitive,” said an industry watcher. “What will be important, however, is how much these products actually live up to consumer expectations.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)