SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. are lowering the price of LTE flagship smartphones released this year while offering higher subsidies to empty out remaining stocks.
South Korean telecom giant KT Corp. raised the official subsidy for the LG G8 ThinQ to a maximum of 655,000 won (US$564) on November 2.
SK Telecom Co., the country’s largest mobile carrier, also raised the official subsidy for the G8 ThinQ to maximum of 600,000 won on November 5.
Previously, the official subsidies offered by KT and SK Telecom were no more than 82,000 won and 157,000 won, respectively.
“Considering that 25 percent discount programs are being offered for certain mobile plans, it is very rare to see subsidies for LTE smartphones rise this much,” said an industry source.
Mobile carriers are also lowering prices for Samsung’s Galaxy S10 LTE model.
SK Telecom and LG Uplus lowered prices for the Galaxy S10 128GB model from 1,056,000 won to 899,800 won, and the 512GB model from 1,298,000 won to 998,000 won.
This year, controversy sparked among LTE users after mobile carriers and manufacturers focused subsidies on 5G models following the introduction of 5G smartphones by Samsung and LG.
The new measures, however, offer subsidies to LTE models, evening out the difference between subsidies provided to LTE and 5G models.
The pricing change is seen as a countermeasure to deal with the massive popularity of American tech giant Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone 11 series, released only as an LTE model in South Korea.
“Mobile carriers also want to empty out their LTE stocks to prepare for increasing demand for 5G smartphones,” said a source familiar with the mobile communications industry.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)