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Samsung, LG bring new flagship phones to Taiwan

2014/03/19 19:48:50

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. launched their new flagship smartphones in Taiwan Wednesday, intensifying the competition in a market where consumers prefer handsets larger than 5 inches.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is waterproof and features a 5.1-inch 1080p display, a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, a 16-megapixel main camera, a fingerprint scanner embedded in its home button and 4G LTE connectivity.

The S5 will start at NT$22,900 (US$753) for a 16GB model and NT$23,900 for a 32GB model when it hits Taiwan stores on April 11.

Moon Sung-hyun, managing director of Samsung Taiwan, said worldwide sales of the Galaxy S series phones have reached a milestone of 200 million units since the first generation model was unveiled in 2010.

"We are very grateful. And we know that we only succeed when customers choose us. We know that we must continue to earn that choice," Moon said at the product launch event.

"The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the perfect combination of all great practical features and allows you to have a smarter and more convenient mobile life," he said.

In comparison, the LG G Pro 2 comes with a 5.9-inch full-HD IPS display with an extra slim bezel of 3.3mm, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.26GHz quad-core processor and a 13-megapixel camera.

The phone-tablet hybrid's newest feature, called "Knock Code", allows users to power on and unlock their G Pro 2 smartphones in one step by tapping their screens, according to LG.

The G Pro 2 will go on sale Thursday at a price of NT$20,900 for a 16GB model and NT$21,900 for a 32GB model.

Kim Byung-hyung, president and chief executive of LG's Taiwan branch, said at the launch of the G Pro 2 that his company aims to sell 15,000 units of the phone per month starting April and a total of 100,000 units by the end of the year.

The South Korean firm has set a sales target in Taiwan of 450,000 mobile phones this year, up 50 percent from 300,000 units last year, touting a full range of products and a low comparison base, according to Kim.

Data from the research company IDC showed that 5-inch and larger smartphones continued to be favored by Taiwanese consumers, accounting for 42 percent of the country's overall smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 35 percent in the third quarter.

For the whole of 2013, 35 percent of the smartphones sold in Taiwan had a 5-inch or larger screen, a sharp increase from only 7 percent in 2012, the research firm said.

The high penetration rate put Taiwan in third place behind Hong Kong and Singapore among countries that favor smartphones larger than 5 inches, IDC said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)