No Stopping the Rise of Cheap Chinese Smartphones

      December 28, 2015 10:35

      Cheap Chinese smartphones are selling like hot cakes in Korea. LG Uplus on Friday said accumulated sales of Huawei's Y6 dual smartphone, released on Dec. 16, had already surpassed 5,000 units a week later.

      The Y6 costs W154,000, making it the cheapest smartphone in Korea (US$1=W1,171).

      LG Uplus, which has an exclusive deal for the phone, practically gives the phone away free, discounting it even for customers who sign up for its lowest flat rate of W29,900 a month.

      Only 300 Y6 phones were sold on the first day, but that soon climbed to 800 a day. It has become the sixth best-selling smartphone at LG Uplus, overtaking Samsung's lower-end Galaxy A5.

      Huawei originally targeted sales of 10,000 Y6s in Korea, but at this rate the target will be reached in five or six months. If the Y6 does well here, other low-end Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi and Lenovo are also likely to move in, meaning even stiffer competition for Samsung and LG on their home turf.

      An official from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning tried to douse concerns by saying the Y6 may yet turn out to be a fluke, but the omens point in the opposite direction.

      A cheap smartphone developed by Korea's TG & Co. and made by China's Foxconn has also been a hit, with sales reaching 150,000 units since its release in September. The LUNA is sold through SK Telecom and boasts the specs of a premium phone but for W449,000 or half the price. 

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