SEOUL, Apr. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung is reportedly considering the release of a less expensive version of the Galaxy S8 in China with the company’s high-end smartphones struggling to gain traction.
According to Samsung Electronics on Sunday, a new device with the model number SM-G8750 was recently approved by Chinese certification authority TENAA.
A number of reports have confirmed the device was certified under the name of ‘Dream Lite’, a nod to the Galaxy S8’s code name ‘dream’, and hinting at a low-end version of its 2017 flagship model in the Chinese market.
“We are considering the release of a Chinese-exclusive Galaxy S8 variant. The decision and the release date have yet to be confirmed,” a Samsung official said.
The move comes following a lukewarm response to the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, in China.
SamMobile has reported that the SM-G8850 model will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM and a bezel-less 5.8-inch infinity display, with some of the premium features from the Galaxy S8.
Though smartphone variants are optimized for each country and typically released after flagship models, the launch of a new version of the Galaxy S8 a year after its original release is seen as somewhat of an unusual move in the industry.
Industry experts speculate that Samsung’s decision to offer a cheaper variant is part of the company’s bid to expand its presence in China by pushing lower-cost alternatives to its premium devices.
By maintaining the flagship naming, Samsung hopes to keep a premium image with the new model, while also offering the device at an affordable price to win the hearts of customers in China, where its market share plunged below 1 percent recently.
According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s smartphone share in the Chinese market stood at just 0.8 percent during the last quarter of 2017. Samsung’s share stood at 3.1 percent during the first quarter of last year, before dropping to 2.7 percent and 2 percent over the next two quarters.
Strategy Analytics speculates the figure will remain at a similar level in the first quarter of this year.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)