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Worst exports hits Korean phone companies for the first time in 16 years

There is a sharp decline in phone exports in Korea due to the over-saturated Chinese market. The yearly company export details are already coming out with the first report coming out from South Korea, the home of top brands like Samsung and LG.

The information from the ministry of science and ICT and the Institute of information and communications technology, planning and evaluation shows that there was a decrease in the number of phones that were exported in 2018. According to the ministry, the mobile phone exports in 2018 were $14.61 billion which went down to 23% if compared with 2017 exports. That is about $4.4billion decrease. This is said to be the lowest figure since 2002 and it shows that Korea recorded their worst smartphone exports in 2018.

If you can recall, the market raked about $11.36 billion during the last time that the market had such a low turnout. And that was the era when phones with touch screen had not evolved.

According to top sources in Korea, the market value of the phone industry has been experiencing a sharp decline since 2008 when shipment peaked around $33.44 billion outpacing the country’s main export of semi-conductor. Since 2008, the industry has fallen and was only able to record $30 billion in 2009 and $20 billion in 2017.

If you analyze the market situation, you will discover that the biggest reason for this decline is the Chinese market. Although the market situation also affected China as Hong Kong which is the biggest market recorded only $4.3 billion in sales in 2018 which is a decline of 37%. Other major markets like the US also got a fair share of the hit as their number fell to 10% to $5.05 billion.

While smartphones are not performing as expected in Korea, the same thing cannot be said on semiconductors. The export of semiconductors increased to $128.15 billion of sales which is far greater than smartphones.

Because of the market saturation, most of the companies are now pushing for new innovations like the 5G and the folding screen technology. Even with the decline, Samsung is set to unveil its Galaxy S10 family and Galaxy Fold device on February 20 during their event in San Francisco.

Another Korean company LG is not also giving up yet. The company is set to take the scene at MWC 2019 to introduce both its G8 ThinQ flagship and a foldable device with an attachable screen, something similar to ZTE Axon M.


CEO Marvnic Media-owner of Phonecorridor and other media platforms in Nigeria. I am a digital marketing professional with over 6 years of experience. I love gadgets, cars, and smartphones. My current smartphone is the Google Pixel 6 Pro. I hope to buy Tesla Car soon