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Samsung's phones 2.5 times more expensive in S. Korea: lawmaker

SEOUL, The Korea Herald/ANN--Samsung Electronics' smartphones were being sold at an average price 2.5 times higher in South Korea than in other countries, a lawmaker said on Sunday.

Representative Jun Byung-hun of the main opposition Democratic United Party said the average price of Samsung handsets released through three mobile carriers since last year was set at 797,612 won (US$717.76). This price tag compares with the 311,123 won (US$280) worldwide average.

Samsung launched a total of 15 smartphone models through South Korea's top telecom company SK Telecom. It has also launched 13 models through No. 2 KT and nine through LG Uplus since last year.

Jun said that the average price of all Samsung handsets being sold globally average up to US$149.50, or 165,945 won, but the average price of Samsung handsets sold domestically is 714,479 won — 4.3 times higher.

However, it should be noted that Samsung has largely reduced the portion of the typically less expensive feature phones running on the second-generation networks in South Korea.

“Although a premium lineup centering on smartphones has been showcased in the nation compared to the overseas markets, which have a wider lineup depending on their network situations, it is hard not to admit that the Korean consumers are experiencing reverse discrimination,” he said.

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