Major smartphone manufacturers including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Huawei, and Apple, are preparing to launch budget models costing less than one million won in the second quarter of the year.
Global smartphone shipments in 2020 are expected to fall 11 percent on year to 1.31 billion units, market research firm Counterpoint Research said. Accordingly, smartphone producers are seeking to create new demand with low-end models costing less than half of premium models.
Market research firm Omdia's rankings of smartphone sales in 2019 showed that Apple's iPhone XR and iPhone 11 ranked first and second, and budget models such as Samsung Electronics' Galaxy A10, A50, and A20 ranked high in the list.
Samsung Electronics released on April 8 the 5G versions of the Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 LTE models in the domestic market. Their price range is estimated at between 500,000 won and 600,000 won.
LG Electronics has announced that it will not release premium models in Korea. It is preparing to release mass premium phones and budget phones in 2020. The mass premium phones feature dual screens, but their price range is expected to be around 800,000 won.
Chinese smartphone makers have already released a wide range of 5G phones. As China's 5G market is starting to grow, their strategy is to target all demand from premium phones to budget phones.
Huawei released the 400,000-plus won 5G phone Honor 30s 5G last month, and Xiaomi the Mi10 Light 5G with a similar price. The Mi10 Light 5G will be released in Korea after Europe and Japan in the second quarter. In addition, Vivo and Oppo will also release the Vivo S6 5G and the Real Me X50 5G, respectively.
The smart phone that has drawn the most attention recently is Apple's entry-level phone. Apple, which has not yet released a 5G phone, will attempt to make a foray into the budget phone market with LTE phones. Four years have passed since 2016 when Apple released mid-range phones. Smart phone industry insiders expect Apple to launch the budget model iPhone SE in April. The iPhone SE is expected to retail at about 400,000 won to 500,000 won, and will come out with a 4.7-inch liquid crystal display (LCD).