Samsung has been having a tough time in the mobile market in recent months. While it remains by far the largest manufacturer in the Android ecosystem, the company is facing increasingly strong competition from its rivals, who have been launching ever more capable and appealing devices.
In China, domestic manufacturer Xiaomi pushed Samsung into second place last year thanks to its aggressive device pricing strategy. Samsung lost its number-one spot in India, too, when it was overtaken there by Micromax just a few weeks ago.
Fierce competition in the mobile space has resulted in a 'race to the bottom' on price - and that's eating into profit margins that, in many cases, were already wafer-thin. It seems that Samsung has had enough of playing that game.
As Bloomberg reports, Shin Jong Kyun (co-CEO of Samsung Electronics) spoke at the firm's annual shareholder conference earlier today, outlining plans to push its product range upmarket. More of its handsets will feature slimmer designs with metal bodywork, he said, and high-definition displays will be more widely used across its range.
Shin added: "Samsung Electronics aims to consolidate its leadership in the premium market and plans to newly change the smartphone line-up to strengthen competitiveness."
This doesn't mean that Samsung will be abandoning the market for more affordable mobile devices. But it does suggest that the company will be focusing on higher-grade hardware and improved user experiences even at the entry-level, rather than pushing out ultra-cheap devices on which it makes very little money.
Even buyers with the most modest budgets may be prepared to pay a small premium for a lower-end handset with an HD display, built with higher-quality materials than rival devices.
At the top end of the smartphone market, the company unveiled its new flagship handsets at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, and both devices have been well received so far, with over 20 million pre-orders in just over a week. Be sure to check out our first impressions of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.