Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

Samsung Galaxy S6 welcomed to Dubai at Burj Khalifa

The UAE and the Middle East is a key region for Samsung's premium priced offerings.
A row of Galaxy S6 edge smartphones are seen on display at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event at the Mobile World Congress. Albert Gea / Reuters
A row of Galaxy S6 edge smartphones are seen on display at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event at the Mobile World Congress. Albert Gea / Reuters

Samsung unveiled to the region its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge last night, as it attempts to beat back the onslaught from the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The unveiling, set in the Armani Hotel in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, saw a spectacular audio and video show with a score similar to Lord of the Rings with a dash of James Bond. This was the aperitif before the main event which saw 100 women dressed in white dresses file through the tables ant-like bearing the new devices.

Samsung is still the world’s biggest smartphone seller but last year’s premium phone, the Galaxy S5, saw underwhelming sales and compelled the South Korean giant to rethink its offering.

The UAE and the Middle East is a key region for the premium priced offerings.

“Figures from January show that we have 44 per cent of the smartphone market in the UAE and 30 per cent of what we sell in the UAE costs below $300,” said Hayssam Yassine, head of telecommunications group at Samsung Gulf Electronics. “50 per cent to 60 per cent of the hand sets we sell are above $400 and the region basically mirrors the sales in the UAE, so it is hugely important to us. We also see people changing their phone on average every six months to a year here. I believe the purchase price is irrelevant, the phones retail from Dh2,599 up to Dh3,799 and the customer will decide whether it is worthy of those prices, but we are expecting double digit growth on last year.”

Samsung’s new Galaxy is honed from aluminium and is covered, on both sides, in Gorilla Glass 4. The edge has curved edges on both sides which allows the images to bleed onto and off the screen and gives it an ergonomically pleasing feel and look.

There are many improvements on the Galaxy S5 and retailers are expecting pre orders to drive a significant uptick in sales with Dubai’s Gitex starting next week.

“It is an aspirational product that will encourage customers to stay with Samsung,” said Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer of Jacky’s Electronics that also manages Samsung’s branded outlets. “The wireless charging gives it an option that the iPhone does not have and the camera is better and the quality of finish is better. It is a massive step forward for the Samsung Galaxy range and I am sure we will see that reflected in the pre sales and sales across the counter when it becomes available on April 10th.”

ascott@thenational.ae

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Updated: March 25, 2015 04:00 AM

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