Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

By Nosa Alekhuogie with agency report

In a bid to increase its value and revive its interest in smartphones, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc unveiled their latest smartphones at the ongoing Mobile World Congress industry show in Barcelona.

According to Reuters, the phone makers face another tough year in 2016 as subdued global growth and persisting currency weakness in key emerging markets sap consumers’ spending power. A push by Chinese manufacturers to expand overseas amid slowing growth in their domestic market may also undercut margins further.

In a bid to recapture market share, Samsung launched two new versions of its Galaxy S smartphone, – the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. LG, introduced its first modular design to its new G5 smartphones that allows users to replace or upgrade functions such as camera and audio independently. The main camera on LG’s upcoming G5 smartphone will have two lenses – one for standard shots, and another with a wider angle.

One of the module, is an external battery pack which doubles up as a dedicated camera controller.

Simply by pulling out the base and battery of the G5 and clipping the new module in, users will get an extra few hours of battery life and physical camera shutter and zoom buttons.

The company also launched a virtual reality headset and accessories including a drone controller to pair with the G5 alongside the devices.
“I think it’s possible for LG’s mobile business to recover on its new product launch, since they delivered significant changes with the G5,” a Seoul-based HDC Asset Management Fund Manager, Park Jung-hoon said.

“The Galaxy S7, however, does not seem to be creating as much buzz,” Park said.

A spokesman with LG’s US mobile business, Frank Lee, explained that phone launches no longer generate the excitement they used to, so “it’s our responsibility to bring some energy.”

According to the company, Samsung said its mobile payments service, Samsung Pay, will launch in China in March, a month after Apple launched its Apple Pay service in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

“The challenge you have got in the smartphone market is breaking through all that sameness. From a design and functionality perspective, everything looks and feels the same,” President of Technalysis Research, Bob O’Donnell, said.