​Samsung launches J3 Pro for China

Samsung has launched the low-end J3 Pro exclusively for China as it strengthens its low and mid-end smartphone line-up to better compete with local rivals and earn profits until the next Note, expected for Q3.

Samsung has launched the low-end J3 Pro smartphone exclusively for China, the company has announced, in a likely bid to better compete with local competitors.

The news follows the start of pre-orders for the mid-tier C5 and C7 phones in the country on Monday. The C series is a new line-up also exclusively for China.

The J3 Pro is an upgrade of the J3 launched there last year, costing only $150.

The 5-inch, full-metal smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, and an 8 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera.

The company needs the profits from its low and mid-tier until the launch of the next Galaxy Note sometime in the third quarter.

Samsung had been number one in smartphones in the country since 2011 but lost out to newcomer Xiaomi in the third quarter of 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2014, it ceded the runner-up position to Apple, and since then has fallen below the fifth rank, behind local vendors Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo.

Samsung mobile boss DJ Koh said earlier this year that he expects the company to return to form in the world's second-largest market.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge helped the firm post its highest profits in mobile in two years for the first quarter.

It partnered its mobile payment service Samsung Pay with local counterpart Alipay last month.