Samsung to take on Apple in Japan with Galaxy Fold

Samsung Electronics plans to release the world’s first foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold in Japan later this month, hoping to narrow the market share gap with its bigger rival Apple in the Japanese smartphone market.

Samsung Electronics Japan is currently receiving preorders for the Galaxy Fold, stating that the new smartphone will get an official release on Oct. 25.

While the Korean tech giant has led the global smartphone market, it has had relatively poor success in Japan where Apple has shown its dominance with over half of the market share.

But Samsung Electronics has recently enjoyed brisk sales of the Galaxy S10 in Japan, causing its market share to rise to a six-year high in the second quarter.

According to industry tracker Strategy Analytics, Samsung smartphones accounted for 9.8 percent of the Japanese smartphone market during the April-June period, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

Apple accounted for 50.8 percent during the same period.

“From Samsung’s point of view, it is a great chance to lure more Japanese users and continue to take an upturn at a time when Apple has yet to release a foldable smartphone,” an industry official said, asking not to be named.

Since the Galaxy Fold was released in Korea on Sept. 6 and in France, the United Kingdom and other countries later that month, Samsung has already been enjoying a better-than-expected response from consumers worldwide as the new device delivers a new user experience with a big foldable screen that no other devices has for now.

Attention is also focused on the launch of the Galaxy Fold in Japan as it comes amid worsening relations between Korea and Japan following Tokyo’s export regulations on key materials to Korea.

Samsung will remove the Samsung logo from the Galaxy Fold and use the Galaxy brand instead.

Since 2015, Samsung has removed the Samsung logo from the Galaxy series in a bid to bolster its localization efforts as Japanese users have relatively low awareness of foreign brands except for Apple’s iPhones.

While the Galaxy Fold was released in Korea in a 5G model, the device will be available in a 4G model in Japan as 5G networks have yet to be commercialized in that country.

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