SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s upcoming new smartphone, the Galaxy S21, may be its cheapest-ever 5G flagship mobile device, industry sources here said Friday, as the company tries to boost handset sales against rival brands.
According to the sources, Samsung could release the Galaxy S21 at a price tag of under 1 million won (US$916) in South Korea.
The Galaxy S21 series is expected to go on sale here on Jan. 29 after making its debut at the Galaxy Unpacked event Thursday.
If the rumored price of 999,000 won is correct, the Galaxy S21 will be Samsung's cheapest and the first 5G flagship handset to be sold under 1 million won.
Samsung's first 5G smartphone, the Galaxy S10 5G, was launched with a price tag of 1.397 million won, while the Galaxy Note 10 was released with a price tag of 1.248 million won in 2019.
Last year, the Galaxy S20 5G was sold at 1.248 million won, while the Galaxy Note 20 made its debut with a price tag of 1.199 million won.
While the entry-level Galaxy S21 is expected to be priced under 1 million won, industry insiders predict that the mid-tier Galaxy S21 Plus will be sold at 1.2 million won and the high-end Galaxy S21 Ultra will be priced at 1.45 million won here.
Market watchers said Samsung may lower the price of the Galaxy S21, so that it can better defend its status as the world's top smartphone vendor against Apple Inc., which has been posting brisk sales of its first 5G smartphone, the iPhone 12, since its release in October.
According to market researcher Strategy Analytics, Samsung had a market share of 19.5 percent in terms of smartphone shipments last year, which is the first time since 2011 that its market share dropped below 20 percent.
Apple took the runner-up spot with a 15.5 percent share in 2020 on the back of its iPhone 12 series, while China's Huawei Technologies Co. fell to the third spot with a 14.4 percent share.
For 2021, Strategy Analytics predicted Samsung's market share will drop to 18.8 percent, while that of Apple is expected to increase to 16.4 percent.
To launch the Galaxy S21 series at more affordable price, Samsung reportedly removed chargers from its retail box, and applied flat screens with full HD+ resolution for the S21 and the S21 Plus models.
However, the high-end S21 Ultra reportedly comes with a wide quad HD+ curved display, and support S-Pen stylus.
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