The production of the `Galaxy Alpha` will be stopped…taking the bull by the horn under pressure to lower prices.

Samsung Electronics will release the `Galaxy A5,` a mid-to low-priced smartphone priced at KRW400,000 or so, in the domestic market in 2015.

As SEC chose a mid-to low-priced smartphone as the first smartphone to be released in 2015, the smartphone market strategy of SEC, which has insisted on the premium strategy in the Korean market, is expected to be changed. It is thought of as the move to take the bull by the horns under increasing pressure to lower prices due to the enforcement of the Terminal Distribution Structure Improvement Act.

According to industry insiders on December 25, SEC will bring the `Galaxy A5,` a mid-to low-priced smartphone, to the Korean market as early as mid-January. It is known that it is priced at KRW400,000 or so as in China and Taiwan where the Galaxy A5 was unveiled first.

“Most likely, the `Galaxy A5` will be launched in Korea as early as mid-January and as late as early February, ‘Galaxy A5,’” said a mobile carrier insider. “I understand that it is priced at about KRW400,000.”

The `Galaxy A5,` which was released in China and Taiwan this month, attracted public attention as the counteroffensive of SEC, which struggled in the global market due to the absence of a powerful mid-to low-priced smartphone this year. It comes with a 5-inch HD super AMOLED display, the Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, a 13 mega pixel rear camera and 5-mega pixel front camera. It was priced at RMB2,599 (about KRW460,000) in China, and 11,990 Taiwan dollars (about KRW420,000) in Taiwan.

As the ‘Galaxy A5’ is released, the `Galaxy Alpha,` which has similar specifications, will be discontinued. It is forecast that, as soon as the inventory of the materials for the ‘Galaxy Alpha’ is exhausted, its production will be stopped. “I understand that the Galaxy Alpha will be produced until the materials currently in inventory are used up,” said an industry insider. “Its production will end by early February next year.”

The `Galaxy Alpha,` released last September, attracted public attention as it had a metal frame and it was only 6.7㎜ thick, but was not very popular. As LG Uplus and SK Telecom greatly lowered the price this month, it seems that the main product is naturally replaced by the ‘GalaxyA5.’

As it is known that the ‘Galaxy A5’ will be priced at about KRW400,000, public attention is drawn to whether mid-to low-priced smartphone will be successful commercially. “It has better price competitiveness based on specifications than its predecessors,” said another mobile communication industry insider. “As its design is thought to be better than that of the Galaxy Alpha, it will attract attention in the market.”

“After the enforcement of the Terminal Distribution Structure Improvement Act, it was confirmed that there are demands for mid-to low-priced cell phones like the MVNO phones,” said Chang Jung-hyeok, vice-president of Atlas Research. “Even in the same price range, Chinese phones are less reliable than Samsung phones. So it will be meaningful as a premium model in the mid-to low-priced product line.”

“The ‘Galaxy Alpha’ is being produced currently,” said an SEC insider about this. “We may adjust the production quantity according to market reactions, though.” "Nothing specific has been determined yet with regard to the January release of the ‘Galaxy A5.’”

Jeong Jin-wook |

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