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Samsung chases market for cheap smartphones

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is seeking to enter the market for cheap smartphones with a new factory in India that could manufacture up to 120 million handsets per year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The South Korean electronics maker is spending about $700 million on the smartphone factory in a New Delhi suburb. The facility is expected to be completed by 2020.

The move is seen as an attempt by Samsung to keep up with Chinese companies that are trying to dominate the market for inexpensive phones, which is twice the size of the high-end market, according to the WSJ. Chinese brands dominated the global smartphone market for the first time last year, the news outlet said, citing TrendForce, which tracks device sales.

"[India] is the right place to have the manufacturing hub for the world," said H.C. Hong, chief executive of Samsung Electronics in India. The country is on track to overtake the U.S. in 2019 as the world's second-largest smartphone market after China, according to the WSJ.