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Samsung to release feature-rich phone to take on Huawei

Jan 08,2019
Left: Recreated image of the new Samsung Electronics Galaxy S10, based on leaked photos. Right: Royole’s foldable phone, the Flex Pie [TWITTER, ROYOLE HOMEPAGE]
Samsung is releasing a phone with robust functions specifically designed to meet the challenge posed by Huawei. It has fast internet speeds -- utilizing 5G wireless -- is foldable and has an innovative screen design.

Last year’s smartphone market can be summarized in one sentence: Apple’s defense, Huawei’s catch-up and the fall of Samsung Electronics.

According Counterpoint Research, Apple’s share in the super high-end smartphone market, those priced over $900 (880,000 won), was 79 percent in the third quarter of 2018. In the $600-$900 market (660,000 to 880,000 won), Apple (61%) surpassed Samsung Electronics (21%) by a large margin, and in the $400-$600 range (440,000 to 660,000 won), Huawei (17%) was right behind Samsung (25%).

At this critical moment, Samsung Electronics celebrates the 10th anniversary of the release of its “Galaxy” smartphone. The Galaxy Black came to market in April 2009. A new Galaxy S10, a commemorative issued for the anniversary, will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, Spain this February. The name of the new S10 is “Beyond.”

Samsung’s says it wants to outdo itself with the latest release.

In the new S10, Samsung’s Infinity-O Display will be embedded. The display has a small hole in the screen for the selfie lens, so almost the entire face of the device is screen. The proportion that is screen is more than in Apple products, which utilize more real estate for the lens.

The fingerprint-identifying sensor does not require separate hardware, but is found within the screen. The sensor itself utilizes Qualcomm ultrasonic-wave technology, which can identify prints that are less readable due to water or soil on the screen. Instead of scanning the user’s iris, the new model will utilize facial recognition, as is done with iPhones.

It is expected that Samsung will maintain the 3.5mm-earphone jack, which has been scrapped on iPhones. It will also be 5G capable, allowing for a 1.5-gigabyte movie to be downloaded in less than a second. Samsung announced last month it will supply the world’s first 5G phones to Verizon and AT&T.

Huawei is expected to release its own 5G phone in the first half of the year.

Early versions of the new Galaxy S10, to be released in February, will not be 5G capable. It is possible that the S10 with a 5G communications chip will be released separately, as was done with the Galaxy S5 broadband LTE-A model, which was separately released in 2014.

It was expected that LG Electronics will release its 5G smartphone this April or May, but it changed its goal for release to late March. Apple might not equip new iPhones, which will be released this year, with a 5G-communications chip.

A telecommunications industry source said, “Apple originally did not really care about the speed of telecommunications that much. Apple might embed 5G in the iPhone in fall.”

Smartphone competitors are seen pushing foldable phones in 2019. According to market research firm Strategic Analysis (SA), shipments of foldable smartphones globally will increase gradually from 3 million in 2019 to 14 million in 2020, and ultimately to 30 million in 2022.

Chinese phone market Royole released a foldable first, in October last year, ahead of Samsung Electronics and Huawei. Royole will release its 7.8-inch Flex Pie foldable phone at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), to be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-Jan. 11. Royole led the market but has received criticism about the quality of its device.

The Galaxy foldable phone will be released in February. It will have a 7.3-inch screen as well as a 4.58-inch screen. The initial run will be about 1 million units.


BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]


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