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Samsung selling more of its cheaper smartphones

Consumers, especially in lower-end markets, are benefiting from increased competition among companies producing less-expensive smartphones.

Samsung scored well last quarter with its Galaxy J phone but still faces heavy competition from Chinese vendors.

Samsung is selling more phones at lower prices as it tries to compete with the growing influence of lower-end rivals.

The South Korean mobile phone vendor reported last week a " significant increase" in smartphone shipments in the third quarter over the same period last year. But Samsung's more expensive phones now account for a smaller piece of the pie, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research's data reported Sunday by the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, phones priced under $200 are snagging a greater portion of shipments.

Hit by a lower market share and sales, Samsung has been under the gun to give more attention to lower-priced phones, especially as it faces increased competition from Chinese vendors such as Huawei and Xiaomi that offer such devices. The competition has been a boon for consumers, especially those in emerging markets who can't afford or simply shun higher-priced smartphone.

Samsung's high-end phones accounted for 40 percent of its overall smartphone sales in the third quarter, Counterpoint said, down from 55 percent a year ago. Over the same time, phones priced at $200 or under accounted for 38 percent of sales versus 30 percent last year.

Key to Samsung's strategy has been its Galaxy J lineup, which the company has packed with respectable features at a lower price. In the third quarter, the Galaxy J series outsold any other lineup, including the Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note series or the midrange Galaxy A series, Counterpoint analyst Tom Kang said, according to the Journal.

The Galaxy J5 was one of the company's top sellers in September, a factor that "helped Samsung recover market share in markets like India where it had been experiencing market share loss," Kang said.

Samsung still faces a tough climate. It remains the world's leading smartphone vendor in market share and sales, but it continues to be hit on the high end by Apple's iPhone. Chinese vendors are hanging tough. Huawei saw a 61 percent surge in shipments last quarter from a year earlier, research firm IDC said.

Counterpoint Technology Market Research did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.