The Korea Herald


[Newsmaker] Smartphone market heats up with new arrivals

By Song Su-hyun

Published : Oct. 1, 2020 - 16:00

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (Samsung Electronics)
Suffering from stalled growth in recent years, the smartphone market remained dull until the first half of this year amid the gloomy sentiment driven by the pandemic.

But starting with Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 20 launch in August followed by LG Electronics’ new swiveling form factor smartphone in September, the market is seeing consumer excitement grow again with the releases of new models.

Among others, the launches of new form factors seem to be leading the overall recovery of the mobile gadget market. 
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung’s two new foldable phones Galaxy Z Fold2 and Z Flip 5G, along with LG’s Wing have added to variety of the smartphone market.

Preorders for the 2.39 million won ($1,980) Galaxy Z Fold2 surpassed 80,000 units in five days, bringing consumers back to the high-end smartphone market.

Unveiled on Sept. 14, LG’s swiveling Wing smartphone is another highly anticipated model. 
LG Wing (LG Electronics) LG Wing (LG Electronics)
LG Wing will officially go on sale starting Oct. 5 with an estimated price tag of around 1 million won.

“Compared to the first half of this year, the smartphone market is in an upbeat mood with the rollouts of various models,” said an official at mobile carrier KT.

Better market reaction to the Galaxy Note 20 than to the Galaxy S20 series has helped buoy the market atmosphere, the official said.

“Another positive sign for the market is the iPhone 12,” the official said. “The market is expected to heat up further as many are waiting for the iPhone’s arrival.”

Apple disappointed consumers when it did not unveil the highly-anticipated iPhone 12 at an online unpacking show on Sept. 15.

The US tech giant is expected to showcase the 12th edition of iPhone, including its first 5G-enabled model, next month.

The iPhone 12 is likely to be released in the Korean market in November, according to the telecom industry.

Both Samsung and LG are also offering consumers cheaper options.

Samsung unveiled an affordable version of Galaxy S20, temporarily dubbed as “Galaxy S20 Fan Edition,” on Sept. 23.

The Galaxy S20 FE is expected to adopt the most satisfying features of the Galaxy S20, such as Super Steady and Single Take features of the camera, while using downgraded camera lenses and materials for the body to save production costs.

It is the first time that Samsung is releasing a budget phone based on its flagship model for the Korean market. The Fan Edition is estimated to be retailed for around 800,000 won.

LG has released the LG Q31, the cheapest LTE model among the company’s phones this year. The Q31, featuring a 5.7-inch U-notch display, 3,000mAh battery and 3GB RAM, sells for 209,000 won.

“The Q3 provides necessary functions for the most competitive price,” said an LG official. “The model will target consumers from all walks of life.”

By Song Su-hyun (