Samsung Moves Up Phablet Launch for Battling Apple
The South Korean company has decided to break tradition. Samsung Electronics will be moving up its phablet launch by several weeks; it will be introduced in mid-August. This move of the smartphone giant is part of its strategy to give its Galaxy Note smartphone-tablet hybrids some time before mid of September, which is when Apple Inc. traditionally unveils a new version of its iPhone. The potential and popularity of the iPhone tends to monopolize the attention of the media and consumers for weeks and Samsung wants to be on top this time around.
Since September 2011, when Samsung unveiled its first Galaxy Note phablet at the IFA Berlin conference, it has made it a practice of leveraging the annual tradeshow for showing off its latest model in the Galaxy Note lineup. The first device had been a hit and had enabled the South Korean manufacturer in pioneering a new category in the form of phablet, which is a cross between smartphone and tablet. The company gradually built up a rhythm with its suppliers, consumers and distributors with the release of its flagship phone in February of each year.
This meant that people could set their watch for a Galaxy Note launch in September and Galaxy S phone in February every year. However, last September, the iPhone maker stole Samsung’s thunder with the launch of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the company’s biggest smartphones yet. Not only did the iPhone 6 Plus compete with the Galaxy Note 4, with 5.5 inch and 5.7 inch screens respectively, the new iPhones were unveiled about 6 days after the September 3rd launch of the Galaxy Note 4. The device became available in the market only a couple of weeks after the iPhone.
This had a drastic impact on the sales of Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung is hoping that its move to mid-August can be helpful in preventing the same cycle from repeating. According to the individual who provided this information, the event is being planned for a major city in the US, but the city hasn’t been selected as yet. Moving the date would also provide Samsung an opportunity of injecting some life into its mobile operations after poor Galaxy S6 sales led to a weak second quarter for the company.
Nonetheless, things don’t seem to be looking up for Apple Inc. either as its stock was moving towards its first losing streak since January as investors are worried regarding the economic health in China, which is an important market for the iPhone. For the first time, Apple sold more phones in China as opposed to the US in the first three months of this year and this trend was expected to grow. But, since June, around 30% of the value of Chinese shares was knocked off and investors are afraid that it could have an impact on the Chinese economy and hurt consumer demand too.