Emerging Technology

Samsung gears up for low-end smartphone battle against Apple in China

Andrew Sadauskas /

Samsung has announced it is gearing up to increase its efforts in the key Chinese market, following Apple’s announcement of its low-end iPhone 5c smartphone.

In an interview with the Korean Times, Samsung Mobile chief JK Shin reveals the Korean consumer electronics giant views Apple’s new low-end smartphone as an attack on its Chinese market share.

“Samsung understands that Apple intends to boost its mobile business in China, as well as in Japan, meaning that we should try harder in these countries,” Shin said.

Shin also strongly hinted the next iteration of the company’s Galaxy series, the Galaxy S5, would use a 64-bit processor after Apple announced its iPhone 5s would use one.

“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin said.

The article also quotes a low-ranking Samsung official who reveals a diversity of devices, along with smartphones supporting both China Mobile’s proprietary TDD-LTE network and FDD-LTE, will be key to the company holding back Apple’s assault on the region.

“Apple believes that it can boost its market share in China thanks to stronger brand awareness. However, with better pricing, a diversified product line-up and solid partnerships with local channels, Samsung plans to keep its current momentum in China,” the executive said.

Earlier this week, SmartCompany reported speculation Apple has asked its contract manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to prepare to add China Mobile to the list of carriers receiving the low-cost iPhone 5c.

China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier with an estimated 700 million subscribers, a subscriber base roughly twice the population of the US, making any deal highly significant.

However, their sources say it remains unclear whether the two companies have signed an official agreement or when the delivery is likely to take place.

Apple also hosted an iPhone launch event in China alongside its Californian event.

However, during the first quarter of 2013, the largest smartphone vendor in China by volume was Samsung, claiming 17.3% market share.

The top five vendors were rounded out by Lenovo (13.1%), Coolpad (10.3%), Huawei (10.1%) and ZTE (6.9%).

In contrast, Apple fell outside the top five, claiming a paltry 6.4% of China’s smartphone market, ahead of K-Touch (4.1%), GiONEE (3.8%), HTC (3.1%) and OPPO (2.9%).

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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