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Samsung mobile chief confident of Galaxy success

By Korea Herald

Published : March 10, 2016 - 14:52

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Samsung Electronics’ mobile chief on Thursday showed confidence in sales of the company’s latest flagship smartphone Galaxy S7 and its Edge variant, saying the phones will exceed their predecessors.

After a week-long preorder period, the latest Galaxy phones will go on sale globally from Friday. 
Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin poses with the Galaxy S7 and its Edge variant phones at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics) Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin poses with the Galaxy S7 and its Edge variant phones at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics)

“There are positive reviews about the new phones overseas, but it is crucial for us to win recognition from Korean consumers,” said Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business division, at a press conference in Seoul.

Koh, a veteran engineer who has been involved in the Galaxy series development from the beginning, was promoted to lead the whole mobile business division in December.

He denied that the preorders didn’t meet expectations, saying: “We made all-out efforts to develop the S7 and it will exceed its predecessor S6 in sales.” He declined to specify the numbers, including the sales target.

Despite praise for its upgraded features and design, the S6 suffered lukewarm sales, negatively affecting Samsung’s overall profitability. Especially, the Edge model with a curved screen experienced supply constraints in the early days.

The latest S7 comes up with new features, such as water resistance and a separate memory card slot, previously popular features that had been missing for years. The battery is still not removable, but boasts higher capacity than before.

Among other things, the company has poured considerable resources into improving camera functions to the level of DSLR cameras, it said.

Based on its own dual pixel technology, each of the 12 million pixels have two photodiodes that collect light. The photodiodes work better, like human eyes, allowing a speedier autofocus and clear photos even in low light situations.

Koh admitted the company was struggling in the all-important Chinese market where the company’s market share continued to fall due to fiercer competition from Apple’s iPhones and budget phones from Chinese rivals.

“I have had several meetings with Chinese telecom carriers and retailers recently. I’m cautious to talk about the outlook for now, but I’m pretty confident that they are ready to better appeal to consumers and sell more phones,” he said.

In a move to appeal to consumers, Samsung has lowered device prices, making the latest phones the cheapest-ever Galaxy models. The prices start at 836,000 won ($695) for the basic 32-gigabyte model here.

The company will also launch a new phone upgrade program, called Galaxy Club, in Korea and other markets in phases. The program allows subscribers who pay a monthly fee to switch to a new phone every 12 months.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)