Samsung Electronics, which is struggling in the smartphone market in China and India, is aiming to recover its market shares by strengthening its low- to mid-priced line-up. However, the company is at great pains to catch two rabbits at the same time –- promoting its budget phone line-up and maintaining its premium image before the launch of the Galaxy Note 9 in the second half of this year.
According to the smartphone industry on April 29, the SM-J260G loaded with a 1GB RAM and the EXINOS 7570 was found on the benchmark website of Geek Bench. “This model can be launched as the Galaxy J Core and Samsung Electronics’ first Android Go smartphone,” overseas IT media outlet SAM Mobile said. Android Go is an ultra light mobile operating system (OS) developed by Google for developing countries. In the mobile phone industry, it is forecast that Samsung Electronics may launch ultra-low-priced smartphones of less than 100,000 won in emerging markets such as India.
Samsung Electronics sells budget phones such as the Galaxy J2 (selling at about 130,000 won or US$117) in India. It is preparing new low-end phones because Samsung Electronics is struggling in competition with Chinese companies in the low-priced phone market in Asia.
According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung Electronics' market share in India stood at 26.2%, losing the top position to Xiaomi with a 31.1% market share for two consecutive quarters. In the Chinese market, in the fourth quarter, Samsung Electronics recorded a market share of 0.8%, less than a single digit market share for the first time, according to Strategy Analytics. This share is less than the original expectation of 1.7%. It is predicted that its share will remain at the 0% level in the first quarter of this year.
As a consequence, Samsung Electronics is reportedly preparing for the Galaxy S8 Mini and the Galaxy S9 Mini, which are derivative budget models of the Galaxy S8 and S9 in China. According to IT-specialized Chinese media outlet Gizmo China, the Galaxy A6 Plus, a low-end model, was also certified for radio wave use by the TENAA of China.
The problem is that when Samsung Electronics which has been targeting the premium market significantly strengthens its low- to mid-priced lineups, its brand image may be adversely affected. In the case of China, the premium market is dominated by Apple and the low- to mid-priced mobile phone market by Chinese companies. This means that Samsung Electronics may be sandwiched between them.