Bloomberg reported that Samsung Electronics Co. its new Galaxy Note 9 in New York, the upgraded Samsung Watch and the new Samsung Home Speaker. The South Korean technology giant is hoping that these new products will help rejuvenate the sales of its struggling flagship Galaxy brand and also keep Apple Inc.’s new iPhones (to be launched during the upcoming holiday season) from grabbing market share.
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4” screen, the largest on a Note till date. Its price starts at $999.99 and goes up to $1249.99, which makes it $100 more expensive that the Apple iPhone X, and also one of the most expensive consumer smartphones.
The new Note 9 looks quite a bit like the Note 8, however, has a slightly larger screen than the previous smartphone’s 6.3” screen. Additionally, Samsung has really revamped the Bluetooth stylus of the Note 9 and upgrade the phone’s camera. The new camera takes better and sharper pictures than the S9 that the company launched earlier this year.
Samsung has launched its new smartphone at a time when the company is going to face a lot of challenges.
The global smartphone market has slowed down due to reduced demand. Consumers are now waiting much longer to replace their devices that before.
Added to that is the fact that the last phone the company launched this year, the Samsung Galaxy S9, was a damp squib which failed to excite consumers or even stop the Chinese phone makers Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. from eating away at its market share.
And then there is the competition from its arch rival – Apple. Apple typically launches its new phones just ahead of the holiday season in September. This means that Samsung has to excite consumers enough that they snap up the Samsung phones rather than waiting to see what Apple has to offer.
Samsung’s shares dropped by 3% in trading in Seoul after the Note 9 failed to impress Eugene Investment & Securities, which stated that this new model was no game changer and was just another transitional product.
They weren’t the only ones who were not impressed. The IDC’s VP of devices research Bryan Ma said that just as the S9 was too similar to the S8, the Note 9 could also possibly disappoint in the same way.
However, despite the slightly tepid reception from some parties, Samsung is hoping that its new Note 9 will gain popularity in the market and revitalize its smartphone business whose profits have dropped by almost 50% in the last quarter.
Samsung, in its earnings call blamed itself for some part of its poor performance, saying that after the debacle with the Note 7 which cost the company billions of dollars in recalls, the company had become slightly risk averse and had intensify quality inspections at the cost of innovation.
However, now, the company states, they will once again focus on innovation and introduce game changing features once again. One of the key things that Samsung will work on will be 5G internet connectivity for their new phones.
At this event in New York, Samsung also launched its new Galaxy Watch, which sports a circular screen, can connect to LTE networks and is water resistant. The watch also much greater battery life and will be compatible with a new charger that can charge both the smartphone as well as the watch at the same time.
The newest product to be unveiled was the new Samsung Galaxy Home Speaker, entering an already crowded market which is dominated by Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod.