Will Samsung’s New Handsets Rescue Its Mobile Sales?
As expected, Samsung late last week unwrapped its new Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, both of which are nifty enough in their own right.
But the elephant in the room for Samsung still is the cloudy question: Will the units sell and will sales be enough to snap the Korean manufacturer’s mobile division out of its extended doldrums? With Samsung coming off a 35 percent drop in profits in its mobile division last quarter, a great deal is riding on the new models.
Introducing the next generation Note phablet someplace other than the IFA trade show in Berlin is a change of pace for Samsung not only in venue but also in timing. But the vendor appears willing to gamble that a month’s head start before Apple (AAPL) releases the next iPhone, rumored for sometime in September, will pay dividends in increased early sales for the Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus.
Indeed, last September, Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus rollout to huge fanfare and stampeding sales dwarfed Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 introduction held only a week earlier. The Korean manufacturer, whose sales of of its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have not met expectations, desperately needs a hit mobile product to stem its continuing losses.
As for the Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus, both models feature 5.7-inch screens and support wireless charging. Both have 32GB or 64GB storage options available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Silver Titanium. Both are now available for pre-ordering but Samsung hasn’t yet disclosed pricing and the official release dates for either model other than to say the “availability and launch timing of both products vary by markets and mobile carriers.”
Samsung said it will cut prices on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to accommodate the new models.
“At Samsung, we believed in the promise that large screen smartphones could actively address some major consumers pain points by providing users with a better viewing experience and more productivity on-the-go,” said JK Shin, Samsung IT & Mobile Division president and chief executive.
Samsung also introduced Samsung Pay, its version of the Apple Pay and Android Pay systems, set up to work with a number of the vendor’s mobile devices. Samsung said Pay will launch in Korea on August 20 and in the U.S. on September 28. The vendor has baked in its KNOX mobile security software, fingerprint verification and digital tokenization to the system, which works with Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies.