SEOUL, July 10 (Korea Bizwire) — China’s Xiaomi Corp. will sell its 5G smartphone in South Korea through major mobile carriers, industry insiders said Friday, as it eyes gaining a presence here against homegrown brands.
Xiaomi’s Mi 10 Lite 5G smartphone will be launched online next Friday after a four-day preorder period, sources said.
It will be the first time that a foreign phone maker launches a 5G smartphone in South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc.
Xiaomi had previously released LTE smartphones, such as the Redmi Note 9, in South Korea.
The Mi 10 Lite 5G features a 6.57-inch display, 4,160mAh battery and a quad rear camera setup that includes a 48 MP main shooter.
It is expected to be priced around 450,000 won (US$375) here, the cheapest among 5G smartphones sold in South Korea.
So far, the cheapest 5G smartphone model in the country is the Samsung Galaxy A51, which was launched in May for 572,000 won.
South Korea’s smartphone market is dominated by Samsung, whose market share reached 69 percent last year, followed by Apple Inc. and LG.
However, analysts said local players should be aware of Chinese brands releasing price-competitive 5G smartphone models.
“Although the South Korean market is centered around premium smartphones, demand for budget handsets has been increasing, so it is likely that Chinese makers will keep trying to enter the market,” said Roh Kyoung-tak, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.