As reported in Business Korea, Chinese handset maker Huawei is launching a mobile handset offensive against domestic powerhouses Samsung and LG, in the Korean market. The company will begin their invasion with a new flagship smartphone, set to compete with the more economical domestic options. Samsung Electronics will also make a stronger effort in the Chinese market to increase its market share, particularly in premium level handsets.
Huawei is planning to target Korean consumers who want to purchase cheaper phones with the release of a new high-performance and reasonably-priced smartphone dubbed the X3. Samsung, on the other hand, is determined to recover the share of the Chinese market snatched by Xiaomi Tech in the second quarter with the launch of the Galaxy Note 4. At this stage there are no reports of Xiaomi planning to entr the Korean market.
Until now, the Korean market has been incredibly resilient to foreign smartphone competition, except for conservative success from the Apple range, now standing at around 15% of new sales. This is the first time for the Chinese Android device manufacturer to penetrate the Korean market and it could mark a new battle, much closer to home than Samsung and LG have had to face.
An industry source explained, “Once the act on improving the distribution channel structure of cellphones is put into effect in October, users who subscribe to mobile telecommunication services with phones directly sold by manufacturers will be able to get a discount in mobile phone bills, instead of mobile phone subsidies.” The source concluded by saying, “I think the fact that several foreign companies recently announced the introduction of smartphones in the country is related to the implementation of the new law.”