New Samsung Smartphones Expected at the 2018 CES

South Korean tech giant Samsung is getting ready for the 51st edition of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which is scheduled for January 2018. Although there is a lot of expectation surrounding the Galaxy S9, a smartphone that is anticipated to be Samsung’s new flagship phone, the company will wait until February to introduce that high-end device. At the 2018 CES, Samsung will unveil new smartphones geared towards developing markets and budget-conscious consumers.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is rumored to be a Galaxy S8 look-alike with less powerful features that justify their lower prices. Even though the Galaxy A series is not as fancy as the S or Note series, these smartphones will support artificial intelligence apps such as Bixby and Google Assistant. The A8+ will appeal to fans of “phablets,” smartphones with extra-large displays, although the resolution and camera hardware are not as sharp as in the Galaxy S series.

There is no guarantee that the A series will be available in the United States. Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers are very interested in establishing a strong footprint in developing markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America; to this effect, the company also plans to release rugged feature phones in the near future.

Another South Korean electronics giant that plans to introduced budget smartphones at the 2018 CES is LG, which recently announced its new K series. This new LG line of economy smartphones will have two features that will make them very attractive in developing markets: FM radio and the ability to connect to 2G EDGE networks. For smartphone users in rural Kenya, for example, being able to tune in to local radio stations and connect to 2G networks is crucial, particularly when they travel through by bus through mountainous regions.

The decision by LG and Samsung to introduce budget smartphones at next year’s CES is an example of perfect timing; this will be the first CES to feature a section dedicated to the nascent African tech sector. As previously mentioned, the Mother Continent is a market that Samsung and LG are very interested in, and thus they will be able to introduce their new products directly to potential African distributors.

Other consumer electronics companies such as Huawei may also show off affordable smartphones at CES, which means that Apple and Google will have to catch up if they wish to become strong competitors in these markets.