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March 22, 2021

Samsung is ready to take on rivals by expanding mid-range line-up

By GlobalData Technology

Samsung announced three new mid-range Galaxy A phones at its Unpacked Galaxy Awesome event: the Galaxy A52 (approx. $415), the A52 5G (approx. $510) and the A72 (approx. $534).

The phones come with Super-AMOLED displays, octa-core processors, and quad-rear cameras. The phones are available for pre-order in UK. Pricing and carrier support for the US will be announced in the coming weeks.

Samsung mid-range is robust

Samsung’s Unpacked events are usually limited to its premium line-up of Galaxy flagships. A separate event for the A-series is a first, highlighting how crucial its affordable phones are to the OEM. Samsung now has one of the most robust mid-range line-ups, with multiple phones hitting every price point from $150 to $650. The Galaxy A52, A52 5G and A72 offer premium attributes IP 67 water-resistance, faster screen refreshes and optical image stabilization at affordable prices.

These mainstream features are a cut above the competition showing Samsung’s determination to aggressively compete in the $300-$600 price range.

Budget friendly range critical as premium sales stagnate

Samsung was one of the two OEMs reporting a decline in smartphone revenues in Q4 2020. Samsung’s mobile revenues declined by 28% in Q4 to $19.32 billion. Covid-19 lockdowns and spending reluctance impacted sales of its 2020 flagship Galaxy S20 series.

However, Samsung’s cheaper Galaxy A phones have saved Samsung’s bottom line multiple times in the last two years, including Q4 2020. The phones remain extremely popular with consumers, making up for their lack of margin via volume sales.

Rivals like OnePlus, LG and Lenovo already have mid-range LTE and 5G phones on the way, but Samsung is the dominant Android vendor in the US with the resources and carrier support to lead this category, thereby strengthening its lead in the US smartphone market. In addition, 2021 is expected to be the ramp up year for 5G in the US. OEMs with affordable 5G phones (and LTE) will see a lot of traction from carriers in terms of marketing and promotional support as carriers build out their 5G networks.

Demand for premium flagships is expected to remain stagnant, and the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a move to inexpensive phones, making the Galaxy A phones increasingly strategic to Samsung’s smartphone line-up and revenues.