Samsung eyes China comeback

Samsung eyes China comeback
A man tries the new Samsung Galaxy Note8 smartphone during a launch event, August 23, 2017 in New York City.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd hopes to regain consumer confidence and rejuvenate sluggish sales in China after the Note 7 debacle, with the launch of its latest premium smartphone Galaxy Note 8 on Wednesday.

The new flagship Galaxy Note 8 boasts a 6.3-inch super AMOLED display with a bezel-less design, and a dualcamera setup, as well as biometric authentication options, including iris and fingerprint scanning.

Samsung claimed the handset has a safer battery as it has undergone safety checks.

The move is also the followup to last year's disastrous Note 7, which was recalled due to a faulty battery with a tendency to catch fire, and the company's latest response to its sagging fortunes in the China market.

In March, Samsung unveiled its flagship smartphones Galaxy S8 and S8+.

However, the company faces fierce competition from local rivals, such as Huawei Technologies Co's P10 and P10 Plus and Xiaomi Corp's Mi Mix 2, and the much-anticipated iPhone X rolled out by Apple Inc, the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.

A report from Counterpoint Technology Market Research said domestic smartphone brands took 87 per cent of the Chinese smartphone market in the second quarter, and the top four Chinese brands-Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi-have close to 69 per cent of the market.

In contrast, the market share of Samsung in China shrunk to 3 per cent in Q2 from 7 per cent last year, slipping to sixth place behind its Chinese competitors and Apple.

"We still need a period of time to see whether Note 8 could restore Chinese consumers' trust and give a boost to the South Korean tech giant's overall China sales," said Hattie He, a smartphone analyst at Canalys.

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