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Samsung advances release of Galaxy Note 5

Question remains as to whether early release will help boost sagging smartphone sales

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Published : 2015-07-13 18:02
Updated : 2015-07-13 18:03

Samsung Electronics plans to advance the release of the Galaxy Note 5 to August from September in an apparent move to boost its sagging mobile devices, sources said Monday.

But it remains yet to be seen whether the global top tech giant‘s strategy will yield success, analysts said.

The world’s largest smartphone maker had planned to unveil the latest Note 5 at the IFA electronics trade show in Germany in September.

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 4 (Yonhap)

“Advancing the unveiling date may not help Samsung much to turn the tide and make up for its lackluster sales performance in the second quarter of this year,” said Park Kang-ho, an analyst from Daishin Securities.

He added that Samsung seemed to plan to unveil its flagship phablet earlier than before to avoid direct competition with California-based Apple’s new iPhone model. Reportedly, the iPhone 6S is expected to be launched in September.

The problem for Samsung is that the launch dates for the phablet and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, a large-screen variant of the firm’s Galaxy S6 Edge, could coincide, according to some market watchers. The Edge Plus is said to be launched in August, too. The Note phablet series comes with a digital pen, a feature that will not appear with the Edge Plus.

“If both devices are released in the same month, they could eat away at each other in terms of sales rather than create synergy effects as often said in the case of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge,” said a market official who declined to be named.

Lee Seung-woo, an analyst from IBK Securities, said it would be a long shot for mere improvements on devices, rather than a significant change in all aspects including design and specifications, to appeal to customers.

“Since Apple rolled out the high-end large-screen smartphone iPhone 6 Plus last year, the Android alliance has severely suffered from a decrease in sales and profits,” said Lee, expecting that Apple, which basks in high customer loyalty, will maintain its upper hand in the global high-end smartphone market.

He also forecast that the Android alliance, consisting of global smartphone makers including HTC and LG Electronics that make handsets running on Google‘s Android operating system, will continue losing ground to Apple this year while suffering the slowdown in the growth of the global smartphone market.

Global smartphone shipments will likely grow by 11.3 percent this year, down from 27.6 percent of growth last year, according to market researcher IDC.

The upcoming Note 5 is expected to sport a 5.7-inch super AMOLED display and Samsung’s in-house processor, dubbed the Exynos 7422.

By Kim Young-won  (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)