Summer Brings Premium Smartphone Glut

  • By Kim Bong-kee

    June 28, 2017 13:11

    This summer will see back-to-back releases of the latest flagship smartphones from all the top manufacturers.

    The main events are the releases of Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, LG's V30 and Apple's iPhone 8 in August and September. But next month Samsung will also unveil the Galaxy Note 7FE (Fandom Edition) and LG the G6 Plus.

    The Galaxy Note 7FE is being resurrected from the literal ashes of the combustible disaster that was the Note 7, at a heavily reduced price. The G6 Plus is an upgraded version of the G6 that hit stores early this year.

    ◆ Upgrades

    The Note 7FE, set for release on July 7, now has only a 3,300-mAh battery rather than the 3,500-mAh one that caused it to go up in smoke in the first place. It will cost between W600,000 and W700,000, which is almost W300,000 cheaper than the original but still a hefty price tag (US$1=W1,137).

    The G6 Plus has the same screen as the G6 at 5.7 inches but boasts 128 GB of memory, twice as much as the original. A wireless recharging function has been added, while new color options -- blue and gold -- are also available. LG will also release a cheaper 32 GB version.

    An industry insider said, "The Note 7FE is aimed at restoring the tainted image from the exploding battery debacle, while the G6 Plus aims to recover sales that tanked when Samsung's Galaxy S8 came out in March." 

    ◆ Highlights

    But the highlights come in August, when Samsung unveils the premium Galaxy Note 8 phablet in New York. There were rumors that the new product would be unveiled in September, but Samsung pushed the schedule forward to steal a march on the iPhone 8.

    The Note 8 reportedly has a large screen without the home button and curved edges. It is expected to include fingerprint, iris and facial-recognition functions.

    LG unveils the V30 on Sept. 1, a day before the opening of the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin. The aim is to attract the international buyers who have gathered in the German city to attend the biggest home appliance exhibition in Europe. LG unveiled the G6 in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

    The iPhone 8, which is being released for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, is expected out in mid-September. It will be the first iPhone to feature an OLED panel like the S8 and do away with the home button. It will have vertically spaced dual cameras on the rear.

    But there is a chance of the iPhone 8 being released a month late because of reported problems sourcing the OLED panels. 

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