The move comes amid a global smartphone slowdown with Samsung feeling a bit of the pressure. Sales in its mobile division fell 20 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018 with the company attributing it to lower-than-expected sales of its high-end Galaxy S9 device.
At the same time, Chinese players Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are all delivering high-spec devices at cheaper prices, which is putting pressure on Samsung in a segment of the market that it used to dominate.
Despite a global slowdown for smartphones, some markets like India and other countries in Southeast Asia are growing, but consumers there are after cheaper, but still high-spec, handsets. That’s the market that Samsung is trying to go after with its upcoming device.
Koh said that the strategy shift is also an attempt to attract more millennial users.
“So we are very much focusing on millennials who cannot afford the flagship. But how can I deliver meaningful innovation to our millennials? That’s the reason I’m trying to differentiate the mid-section,” Koh said.
He said that earlier this year he changed Samsung’s mobile research and development organization and product planning to prepare for the shift.
Koh even said that Samsung could release the mid-priced models more often than just once a year.