Samsung Gulf Electronics on Tuesday launched its new spearhead smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge in Dubai, with the new devices being available for retail across the UAE from Friday, April 10.
In an event held at the Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Samsung gave a glimpse of the new devices to select media and VIPs.
In a pricing masterstroke, the Korean firm has aggressively priced the 32GB entry-level Galaxy S6 at Dh2,599, more than 10 per cent or Dh300 cheaper than the 32GB Galaxy S5 launch price of Dh2,899.
Indeed, the new 32GB Galaxy S6 smartphone is actually cheaper than even the 16GB Galaxy S5, which was priced at Dh2,699 in the UAE when it was launched last year.
In addition, comparing like-for-like capacity, the64GB Galaxy S6 variant is priced at Dh2,899, cheaper by Dh100 than rival Apple’s 64GB iPhone 6, priced as it is at Dh2,999 in the UAE.
In a departure from the past, Samsung has not launched a 16GB version of either of its two new devices this year, instead launching a mega 128GB variant besides the 32GB and 64GB versions.
What’s special, though, is that Samsung has managed to keep a lid in the prices despite using more premium materials (glass and metal) in the Galaxy S6 compared to its previous avatar, the Galaxy S5, which sported a plastic case instead.
The South Korean manufacturer, then, is clearly serious about regaining the smartphones leadership slot which it lost to Apple Inc. in the final quarter of 2014.
The 128GB version of the Galaxy S6, however, is priced at Dh3,599, about 6 per cent, or Dh200 dearer than iPhone 6 Plus’ similarly sized variant.
On the other hand, the entry level 32GB Galaxy S6 Edge – the smartphone with a three-sided display – is priced at Dh3,099, slightly more expensive than rival Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, which has a suggested retail price of Dh2,999 in the UAE even as that is for the 16GB model.
The 64GB and 128GB Galaxy S6 Edge variants are priced at Dh3,399 and Dh3,799, respectively, exactly matching rival iPhone 6 Plus’ similarly sized variants.
Among the upgrades that the Galaxy S6 has received over its previous version are the 16MP rear camera and Samsung Pay, its new NFC-enabled payment system. The new phones are powered by Samsung’s new 64-bit, 14-nanometer Exynos processors.
Early reviews of the new Samsung smartphones suggest that the South Korean company is ready to wrestle the crown back from its rival Apple, which has been basking in record iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales for almost six months now.
Shin Jong-Kyun, Samsung’s Chief of Mobile, went on record earlier this month with claims that the South Korean company has taken a substantial number of pre-orders for the latest handsets. “…pre-orders of the two Galaxy variants from our major clients are really huge,” Jong-Kyun told reporters.
In fact, the Korea Times reported that the two new devices had received 20 million pre-orders within 10 days of the launch, with 15 million Galaxy S6 units and 5 million Galaxy S6 Edge units pre-ordered by mobile carriers across the world.
Locally, telecom operator Etisalat has already announced that it will be opening pre-orders on March 26, and will be initially exclusively retailing the Galaxy S6 Edge device in the UAE.
Those users who pre-book the Galaxy S6/Galaxy S6 Edge with the operator will also get benefits like a free wireless charger, originally priced at Dh200.
In addition, pre-orders can be placed at leading retail stores and operators across the UAE, and the new devices will also be showcased at the upcoming Gitex Shopper Spring 2015 that starts next week, on April 1, 2015.