Samsung to release new budget smartphone this month

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. plans to release a new budget smartphone this month in the country, industry sources said Friday, following the rising demand for cheaper handsets.

South Korea’s No. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp. will become the exclusive distributor of the Galaxy J7, priced around 300,000 won ($257.69), the sources said. The price could go down to the 100,000 won range if discounts are taken into consideration.

The move apparently follows the release of the LUNA smartphone by KT’s bigger local rival, SK Telecom Co., in September. Made by a local phone manufacturer, some 30,000 units were sold out in around two weeks after its debut here with the phone priced at the 300,000 won level.

The Galaxy J7, first released in China and India in June, comes with a 5.5-inch display, 3,000 mAh detachable battery and a 5-megapixel selfie camera.

According to data compiled by industry tracker Strategy Analytics, budget smartphones are predicted to account for around 55 percent of the global market this year, up from 20.4 percent seen in 2011. (Yonhap)


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