Samsung, Apple Crowd into Budget Phone Market

      February 23, 2021 12:54

      Samsung and Apple are rolling out low to mid-priced smartphones with premium functions to tap into an opening in the market now that rival Huawei has been shunted out of the way.

      At one point Huawei snatched the No. 2 spot in the global smartphone market, but its market share has since plummeted due to ex-U.S. President Donald Trump's war against it. Yet the demand remains as customers get more and more reluctant to shell out huge sums for phones that do the same as much cheaper ones.

      Samsung and Apple are competing more aggressively in a market currently dominated by smaller Chinese rivals Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo. Industry watchers say Samsung is in more of a rush than Apple to gain a footing because although it retained its top position last year with a 19-percent share of the global market, No. 2 Apple caught up quickly with a 15-percent share.

      Samsung is rolling out mid-priced A series models in the first half of the year, while Apple will launch another iPhone SE costing around US$500 or less than half of its normal premium price.

      Samsung's Galaxy A52 and A72 will feature most of the functions found in the premium Galaxy S series. The A52 will reportedly come with a 6.5-inch OLED display, 64-megapixel camera, fingerprint-recognition and 4500mAh battery, while the A72 will have a 6.7-inch OLED screen and 5000mAh battery. Both models will be waterproof.

      The A52 will cost around W500,000 and the A71 between W600,000 and W700,000, about half the price of an S series phone (US$1=W1,113).

      Apple's iPhone SE Plus will be a follow-up model to the iPhone SE2, which hit stores last year, and cost US$499. Apple plans to equip it with the exact same chipset as the premium iPhone 12 series but a lower-grade camera and battery. 

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