Huawei has been steamrolling the South African market with its mid-range and budget smartphone offerings.
The Huawei P20 Lite was the best-selling device in South Africa in its pricing segment for the majority of 2018, and the company has projected that its P30 Lite will deliver similar performance.
In addition, Huawei has also built out its local support infrastructure and after-sales service, offering localised cloud-based services, a dedicated online store, and setting up a local warehouse for more effective distribution.
Samsung remains a major competitor to the Chinese smartphone manufacturer however, and it has fought back against Huawei’s increasing grip on the local market with its flagship Galaxy S10 lineup and now its mid-range Galaxy A Series range.
Galaxy A Series
Samsung recently launched its new Galaxy A Series smartphones in South Africa, merging its old J Series devices with the mid-range Galaxy A lineup to deliver a diverse range of smartphones with modern features and designs.
These smartphones are priced from R1,299 to R12,999, and include everything from flagship competitor devices to Android Go-powered budget handsets.
Despite the attractive price point of smartphones like the Galaxy A30 and A50 however, these smartphones offer the latest technology available from Samsung, including Infinity-U displays, advanced camera systems, and OLED display panels.
Higher-end Galaxy A devices include in-screen fingerprint sensors and are designed to deliver great camera features paired with exceptional battery life.
Mid-range Galaxy smartphones are positioned to compete directly with some of Huawei’s most popular smartphones such as the P30 Lite, and Samsung is confident that the new lineup will help it regain some market share in this high-volume sector.
Samsung product and marketing director Justin Hume told MyBroadband that Samsung has high hopes for the performance of its Galaxy A Series against devices from Huawei and other competitors.
“We would certainly hope that the new Galaxy A Series will retake market share from our competitors,” Hume said.
“I think where Samsung has been strong this past year is in the premium segment and we have been very strong in the R1,000 – R1,500,” he added. “We competed in the middle-tier and the R3,000 – R,4500 category, but we did not compete as aggressively as we could have.”
“We started making amends for that with our A6+ and A7 ad we have seen rapid uptake of those devices in that category.”
Samsung expects great performance from its refreshed Galaxy A Series in South Africa, stating that it offers a variety of great value offerings.
“We believe we have brought an attractively-priced product lineup to market with great features, and I think where historically A Series was positioned as the secondary series in our portfolio, we really see this as a companion series to the Galaxy S lineup,” Hume said.
The most expensive Galaxy A Series device – the Galaxy A80 – competes with the Galaxy S10 lineup in terms of specifications and design, although it offers a unique configuration thanks to its rotatable main camera.
“The Galaxy A80 gives you the unique factor, whereas an S10e customer is someone who wants a flagship and is not necessarily as adventurous, and they are looking specifically for the flagship branding,” Hume said.
Hume added that since their early availability in South Africa just ahead of the official launch, the Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 have seen great popularity in the local market, and the company expects this to continue.
“The A30 and A50 have seen very impressive sales since their launch. Customers are seeing the value in the product.”
“We firmly believe that the Galaxy A Series will gain us back market share in South Africa,” Hume said.