Samsung Electronics just unveiled the new Galaxy Note 9 in New York. The Korean company is hoping to bank on the bigger screen to help rejuvenate sales for the struggling main brand. Note 9 will have a 6.4-inch screen and will start at $999.99 and max out at $1,249.99. This will make it about $100 more expensive than the Apple iPhone X upper limit, which was for some time the most expensive consumer phone in the world.
Although the Note 9 does look quite similar to the Note 8 that was released last year, there are a few improvements. To start with, the smartphone will come with a revamped Bluetooth stylus - a key selling feature of the Note series. In addition to that, the camera has also been upgraded significantly to offer sharper and more vivid images. However, the Note 9 comes to the market during a very slow time, which means the demand for smartphones around the world is in constant decline at the moment. The phone will also need to right the wrongs of the S8 that performed quite poorly after its release last year.
The Note 8 didn’t manage to capture the imagination of consumers and, instead, Huawei and Xiaomi competed with each other for a huge chunk of Samsung’s smartphone market as a result. The Note 9 has been labeled a transitional product by analysts. They don’t see it as a game changer in the smartphone industry and as such, it’s very likely that sales will be low. Besides, Apple is expected to release brand new devices in September. With this kind of competition, there’s no doubt that things aren’t looking good for the Note 9.
Profits for Samsung’s smartphone division fell by nearly 50% last quarter. The Korean company wants to use the Note 9 as a spearheading tool, especially during the festive season, to try and revitalize performance before the year is out. The future of the smartphone market is also looking bleak for Samsung after years of dominance together with Apple. People’s demand for new devices has significantly gone down, a lot of smartphone owners are taking longer to replace their phones than ever before. More than that, we have also seen the entrance of cheap Chinese designs that offer customers additional options to iPhone and Galaxy.
In a conference call with investors, Samsung took part of the blame for the declining Note series sales. The company said that after the Note 7 disaster, quality assurance measures have been significantly tightened. The Note 7 was the fire-prone phone that was recalled barely weeks after it was released, costing the company billions. According to Samsung, thorough inspections of new technologies have slowed down the process of launching new innovations on its devices. This has put Samsung behind Apple and other new entrants in the market, like Huawei. The Note 9 will come in multiple hues, including purple and blue. International customers outside the US will be able to get black and copper hues too.