South Korea's tech giants continue to provide consumers with the latest and most powerful smartphone technology, a necessary measure to stay ahead of the game in the cutthroat mobile market.
In November, Samsung Electronics unveiled its first foldable phone, that can be used as a smartphone and a tablet.
But despite the companies' technological advances and focus on innovation, the Ministry of Science and ICT says South Korea's mobile phone exports slumped to a 16-year-low of 14.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, down more than 23 percent from the year before.
Experts say the slump could be due to the general slowdown of the global smartphone market, and an increase in overseas production and parts procurement.
Last year, global smartphone shipments topped out at one.four-four billion units, down five percent from a year ago.
South Korea's market share also dipped in overseas markets.
While it improved slightly from 2017 to the first quarter of last year, it has since decreased.
Experts point to increased competition by Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi.
" Global smartphone demand dropped last year due to a lack of innovation. Demand is unlikely to increase this year, as the general situation is not good, and competition will only intensify"
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With a narrowing technology gap with China, local experts say developing innovative smartphones based on 5G technology, and strengthening related ventures and R&D will positively affect demand for South Korean smartphones in the future.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.