Samsung cuts smartphone prices globally amid falling market share

August 6, 2015
Samsung is hoping to reverse its dimming smartphone fortunes with two new phones set for release in 20 countries. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korea’s tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has slashed the prices of its two latest flagship smartphones in key markets, a move seen to be aimed at retaining its falling share around the globe in the face of Apple Inc. and fast-growing Chinese rivals.

The price for the 32-gigabyte Galaxy S6 and its curved variant Galaxy S6 Edge has been reduced by 800 yuan (US$128) to 4,448 yuan and 5,288 yuan, respectively, in China, Samsung Electronics said.

The world’s No. 1 smartphone maker has also lowered the prices for the Galaxy S6 models in Europe and the United States by about $100 on average each.

“The price has been adjusted since a certain period of time has passed since the global launch of the Galaxy S6 lineup, and it is not only confined to the Chinese market,” a company official said.

The price adjustments came only four months after the official release of the two flagship models, with which the South Korean tech firm had pledged to reclaim its supremacy as the reigning smartphone seller in the world.

Samsung Electronics has been losing competitiveness in the global market with a steep decline in profit over the past few quarters, squeezed by Apple that came up with large-size handsets in the premium segment and fast-growing Chinese rivals that cranked out cheaper phones in the mid- to low-end sector.

It posted a 38 percent on-year drop for the mobile division in the second quarter, with its overall net profit sliding 8 percent from the previous year on weak smartphone sales.

Analysts said the price cut is thus aimed at recouping its global share to the top level it once held in the past. Samsung remained the top global seller with a 21 percent share, but it marks a nearly 4 percentage-point drop compared with a year earlier, according to the latest data by Strategy Analytics.

In China, Samsung’s share fell to 9 percent at the end of June. In the past, it held a double-digit figure.

Market tracker IHS data showed that Xiaomi Inc. took up an 18 percent share in the Chinese smartphone market, followed by its local rival Huawei Technologies Co. with 16 percent in the second quarter. Their global market shares stood at 9 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, in the same period, Strategy Analytics data showed.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics dropped 3.8 percent to 1,115,000 won on the Seoul bourse Thursday, marking the lowest figure since 1,091,000 won on Oct. 29, 2014.