Galaxy aims to attract fashion fans

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Galaxy aims to attract fashion fans

With just over two weeks to go before Samsung Electronics’ new flagship smartphones Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge hit the shelves in 20 countries, the company hosted a fashion show on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Seoul Fashion Week to showcase the gadgets.

The event, titled “S6 First Look” came almost three weeks after the top smartphone vendor threw its first “Tasting Night with Galaxy” event at Four Seasons Hotel during Paris Fashion Week.

According to Samsung, the two events were part of its “Forces of Fashion” project, a yearlong campaign to make itself known in the industry and to position itself “as an innovator in the tech-cross-fashion space.”

The fashion and technology worlds are becoming increasingly intertwined, especially with Samsung and its archrival Apple introduced their smart watches - the Galaxy Gear series and Apple Watch.

Samsung’s fashion show was held on the sidelines of the Fall/Winter Seoul Collection at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a signature urban landmark in central Seoul. The tech giant recruited five teams of top fashion designers who own their own label. They are: Han Sang-hyuk of HEICH ES HEICH, Kye Han-hee of Kye, Park Seung-gun of pushBUTTON, Lee Ju-young of Resurrection and the duo Choi Jin-woo and Koo Yeon-joo’s label J KOO.

Top models strutted down the runway with the fashionable smartphones in their hand and some K-pop stars including Goo Hara of girl group Kara and Hyolyn of Sistar took the front seat.

The new phones were designed with dual-curved screens, an all-metal body and anti-reflective display and will be available in a range of colors including black sapphire, white pearl, blue topaz and gold platinum.

Starting Monday, the two S6s were being showcased at 1,400 stores in Korea and three mobile carriers are scheduled to accept preorders beginning April 1, nine days before the phones will be available. There are 30 times more stores displaying the new Galaxys compared with the run-up to the release of the S5.

The version of the phone with the biggest storage capacity will have a price tag of more than 1 million won ($905), making it the most expensive phone in Galaxy lineup. The smallest 32 gigabyte model is expected to cost about 850,000 won.

The estimation was made after Samsung announced the price of a Galaxy S6 to an audience in India, which was equivalent to 1.05 million won and 1.27 million won after the currency conversion from Indian rupees. Industry sources say that Korean authorities have been pressuring Samsung to lower the price tags on the new phones locally.

The Galaxy S5 and its broadband LTE-A-enabled cousin cost 866,800 won and 950,500 won, respectively, when they first went on sale. Another factor that will determine the cost of the new S6s will be the size of subsidies that Korea’s top telecom watchdog will allow the three mobile carriers to hand out.

Analysts have a positive sales outlook based on the S6s’ improved specs, estimating that between 50 million and 55 million units of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be sold this year. In its latest report, market researcher DRAMeXchange revised its outlook for shipments of the two phones by more than 20 percent from its previous prediction.

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