Samsung Unveils Ultra-Thin, Totally Metal Galaxy A7

The latest smartphone unveiled by Samsung -- the ultra-thin Galaxy A7 -- features a metal body instead of a plastic one, and is powered by two separate quad-core processors. The phone's hardware is designed with multi-tasking social users in mind, according to Samsung.

Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy A7 at a launch in Malaysia last week, and released more details about the device over the weekend. The phone is reportedly set to arrive in some Asian markets starting in February with a price tag of around $420.

With a body thickness of just 6.3mm, the Galaxy A7 will be the thinnest of Samsung's A family to date. Announced last fall, the Galaxy A3 and the Galaxy A 5 are 6.9mm and 6.7mm thick, respectively. Like the A7, the earlier models also feature metal bodies instead of Samsung's typical all-plastic design.

Fast-Changing China Market

It's likely that the new Galaxy A7 will be targeted at the same select markets as the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5. Those markets include China, where sales of Samsung and other leading smartphone brands have taken a hit with the emergence of a new and fast-rising competitor: Xiaomi.

Founded in China just five years ago, Xiaomi has quickly grown to become the world's third-largest vendor of smartphones, according to the latest figures from analyst firm IDC. The company, whose latest phone, the Mi4, was released in August as a high-end alternative to other brands, saw sales grow by more than 211 percent from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014, and sold over 61 million handsets last year.

While Samsung remains the global leader in smartphone sales (Apple is in second place), its market share has declined considerably -- from 32.5 percent in Q3 2013 to 23.8 percent for the same period last year. According to the...

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