LG and Samsung appear to be setting themselves up for a game of cat and mouse, according to the source news website. LG are expected to unveil their latest flagship device, the G5, and Samsung are expected to reveal their new Galaxy S7. Both devices are expected to be made official within hours of one another at the Mobile World Congress this Sunday in Barcelona. The devices will be revealed and should be available in stores for March, which is the start of the new semester for Korean students and this generates significant domestic demand for both LG and Samsung. What is not clear, however, is the exact timing of availability of the devices in the stores and this may depend on what features have been included in their device and on the manufacturer making the first move. Currently, sources close to the companies are reckoning on the devices being available in mid-March.
We have covered the rumors of the new LG G5 and its second screen, not dissimilar to the LG V10 released lat year. We have also covered leaked photographs and featuresets of the Samsung Galaxy S7, believed to be available in both Qualcomm Snapdragon and Samsung Exynos-powered variants and to benefit from a pressure-sensitive display, not dissimilar to Apple’s “3D Touch” feature. However, it is believed by some industry experts that customers will pay more attention to the company that is adopting carrier aggregation technology, which is a networking feature designed to bundle greater levels of spectrum in order to enhance Internet connection speeds. If one device were to implement this technology noticeably better than the other, this could drive sales. Meanwhile, Korean carriers are discussing with both LG and Samsung to establish a day when the device is to be made available for customers.
Whilst it’s the flagship devices that are grabbing the headlines, there are other planned devices for the Korean market in March including Samsung’s low end Galaxy A3, a metal-shelled Android smartphone based around a 4.7-inch display panel. LG have said that they are to release three other smartphones with what it has called “high end features,” to include highlights of the display, camera and pen or stylus. Both companies have and will likely continue to face a difficult business market, as many customers are opting for mid-range and lower level devices in the face of the high prices of flagship devices. Lesser handsets in a given manufacturers’ portfolio typically have a smaller profit margin as they do not cost much less to manufacturer, but command a much lower street price. Another factor that may impact on both sales and profitability is how some customers may decide to defer purchases until later in March, waiting to see if the initial launch prices soften because of weak demand.