Samsung's juggernaut in manufacturing the latest smartphones in Bangladesh continues as the South Korean tech giant has taken to assembling its flagship smart device Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G in its local plant.
The handset, which was rolled out globally on January 14, would be the second 5G-enabled smartphone of Samsung assembled in Bangladesh. The first 5G smartphone was Note 20 Ultra 5G which hit markets last year.
The devices work with the fifth-generation cellular network technology that gives users near-real-time interactivity, faster internet, lower response times and the capacity to join many devices.
The first batch of the 5G devices put together in the 30-acre manufacturing plant of Fair Electronics in Narsingdi will hit the market on the first week of February.
"We are now focusing on 5G devices as we have the capacity to assemble the devices with latest technological innovations," Mohammad Mesbah Uddin, chief marketing officer of Fair Electronics, Samsung's local assembly partner, told The Daily Star yesterday.
"Besides, we got a tremendous response for the first 5G handset manufactured in Bangladesh," he said, adding that about 8,000 units of Note 20 Ultra 5G have been sold so far.
The company's value addition will be about 20 per cent to the 5G-enabled device, the pre-booking for which started on January 20 and will continue until February 10.
Although the device is priced at Tk 139,999, a customer can purchase it at Tk 119,000. A Tk 10,000 discount is being provided on pre-booking and another Tk 10,000 in exchange of a Samsung device, besides the price of the used device.
However, the exchange bonus cashback is applicable on select models and subject to dealer discretion depending on the condition of the old phone.
In the US, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is priced at $1,199.99. If the device is imported, the price would be more than Tk 166,000. Thanks to local assembling, the price of the device will be down by at least Tk 26,000, added Uddin.
Fair Electronics, which started assembling Samsung handsets in 2019, churned out 14 lakh units of 4G-enabled smartphones that year and 16 lakh last year.
According to Uddin, Samsung accounts for 19 per cent to 21 per cent of smartphone sales in Bangladesh and Fair manufactures 99 per cent of Samsung smartphones in the country.
According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the current annual handset sales in the country amounted to Tk 10,000 crore.
Ten brands of handsets are now being manufactured in the country: Walton, Samsung, Symphony, Itel-Techno, 5 Star, Winstar, Vivo, Lava, DTC and Oppo.
Over 1.45 crore handsets were assembled in the country's 10 manufacturing plants in fiscal 2019-20, comprising Fair's 9.73 lakh, Edison's 14.20 lakh, Carlcare Technology bd's 42.81 lakh and Anira International's 10.78 lakh.
In that fiscal, local consumers bought 2.94 crore handsets, of which 77 per cent sets were 2G-enabled, 5 per cent 3G and 18 per cent 4G.
Locally assembled smartphones met 51 per cent of the country's demand for handsets in fiscal 2019-20, whereas imported ones the remaining 49 per cent.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G's screen size is 6.8" in the full rectangle and 6.6" accounting for the rounded corners. The actual viewable area is less due to the rounded corners and camera hole.
It comes with a 40MP selfie camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, 108mp wide-angle camera and two 10mp telephoto cameras.