Samsung looks to turn the corner with Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones

BARCELONA // Samsung is hoping that device launches this evening, ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) opening on March 2, will help to arrest its sliding market share in the global smartphone market.

The South Korean phone maker is widely expected to unveil in Barcelona the Galaxy S6, the latest iteration of its flagship smartphone series.

The company is also expected to announce the Galaxy S6 Edge, a slightly smaller device featuring a curved screen, similar to the Galaxy Note Edge launched last year.

Huawei and HTC are also likely to unveil new handsets at special pre-MWC events, with Sony and Microsoft expected to follow suit on the first day of the congress.

Samsung will be hoping that new handset will not suffer the same fate as the Galaxy S5, launched at the sidelines of last year’s MWC, which fell well short of the sales figures achieved by its predecessor, the S4.

As a result, Samsung’s global smartphone market share dropped sharply to 20 per cent during the final quarter last year, down from about 29 per cent a year previously, according to figures from the industry analyst IDC.

This puts it just ahead of Apple, whose market share market rose to just under 20 per cent from about 17 per cent over the same period thanks to strong sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus towards the end of year.

“There were some improvements in some of the specifications but the overall feeling was that it looked and felt exactly like the S4,” said Nabila Popal, IDC’s research manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

“At the same time, many other manufactures came up with similar or better handsets with large screens, which Samsung previously had a clear lead in.”

Samsung last month reported a 64 per cent drop in mobile revenue for the fourth quarter compared with the final quarter of 2013, contributing in part to the company’s first fall in annual earnings for three years.

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