UAE first to receive gold-plated Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Sales of both the regular version and the gold-plated edition begin on Friday in the UAE.

The gold-plated edition of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Courtesy Axiom Telecom
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The UAE is to be the first country in the world to receive a gold-plated version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone.

The eagerly anticipated device is set for launch in the Emirates tomorrow, with the 24K gold-plated version also available via Axiom Telecom stores.

The special edition Galaxy S6 will be priced at Dh5,499, while the S6 edge will cost Dh5,999.

“The market in the UAE is discerning and has a true appreciation for the finer things,” said Faisal Al Bannai, Axiom chief executive.

“After receiving increasing customer inquiries for luxury editions of the new Samsung models, we are happy to be the first to introduce these powerful devices enwrapped in 24 carat gold.”

The regular 32GB version of the S6 is priced at Dh2,599, and the Galaxy S6 64GB is Dh2,899.

Although the phones lose the waterproof protection that the S5 offered, plus the ability to remove the battery, they have an improved camera, better software and sleek metal design with a glass back.

Samsung expects that the pair of Galaxy S6 smartphones that go on sale at midnight will help the company overcome a recent surge by its rival Apple.

Demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge, which features a screen stretching down two sides, probably will exceed supply as the company works to manufacture enough flexible screens, the co-chief executive Shin Jong Kyun said in Seoul yesterday.

The other model has a traditional flat display and will cost less. The new S6 models have 5.1-inch screens, which are in between the screen sizes of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

“S6 is the best made phone by Samsung in terms of design or specifications,” said Keon Han of Credit Suisse in Seoul. “The market, carriers and even consumers are all on the same page that Samsung’s new phone is different from the past models.”

Mr Han expects the company to sell as many as 50 million units this year, setting the stage for an earnings boost from mobile to components.

Samsung will ship 49.8 million S6 units this year, according to the average of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Analysts estimate the company shipped about 38.3 million units of the S5 and more than 65 million of the S3 released in 2012.

IBK Securities in Seoul predicts Samsung could ship as many as 55 million S6 models.

Even at the top of the analyst range, the S6 will be outsold by Apple, which shipped more than 74 million iPhones in the December quarter, riding momentum in China from its move to bigger screens. Samsung fell back into a tie with Apple that quarter as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, according to Strategy Analytics.

First-quarter operating income fell 31 per cent to 5.9 trillion won even as rising demand for memory chips and displays more than offset a slump in smartphones, Samsung said on Tuesday.

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