Samsung hoping Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus smartphone to take a bite out of Apple

Samsung’s latest release comes ahead of Apple’s launch of its new iPhone in the coming weeks, but analysts say that Samsung’s appetite for launching new phones is not necessarily a strong business move.
Visitors try the Samsung S6 Edge 6 Plus during the smartphone's launch in Dubai on Tuesday, August 18. Antonie Robertson / The National
Visitors try the Samsung S6 Edge 6 Plus during the smartphone's launch in Dubai on Tuesday, August 18. Antonie Robertson / The National

Samsung is seeking to regain market share from Apple with the launch yesterday of two premium smartphones – the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus.

Both phones will be available from August 28 across the GCC.

The 32-gigabyte Note 5 is priced at Dh2,799, the 32-gigabyte S6 Edge Plus will cost Dh3,099 and the 64-gigabyte version will retail at Dh3,399.

“We are sure these phones will increase our market share in double-digit percentages,” said Hayssam Yassine, the head of the mobile division at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

“We were overwhelmed by the demand for Edge when it was launched in April. Before the launch our market share in the region was about 38 per cent. Today it is 48 per cent.

“With our new phones we saw the demand for bigger screens, and have provided what our customers want.”

The Galaxy Note, launched in 2011, was the first smartphone to have a 5.7-inch screen, a size that has become an industry standard.

However, the new Note 5 does not look like its previous incarnations that resembled small personal computers – it is now sleek and thin.

The S6 Edge Plus follows its April launch with a 5.7-inch screen. Both phones are available in white, gold, black and silver.

Samsung’s latest release comes ahead of Apple’s launch of its new iPhone in the coming weeks, but analysts say that Samsung’s appetite for launching new phones is not necessarily a strong business move.

“If consumers cannot trust that their product will be worth as much anymore in just a few months, in terms of price and prestige of ‘owning the newest model’, they will be less likely to splurge as much on future models,” said Nabila Popal, a manager with IDC, a telecommunications research firm.

“In contrast, an Apple consumer who splurged on an Apple iPhone 6 or 6 Plus can rest assured that they will have the latest Apple phone for at least a year.

“Also from a channel point of view, distributors and resellers are more hesitant to hold too much inventory of Samsung products, as frequent price drops reduce the value of their inventory.”

According to IDC, the growth in smartphones in the Middle East and North Africa is being spurred by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, with the two platforms accounting for more than 95 per cent of the smartphones shipped in the first quarter.

Shipments of Android and Apple smartphones rose 67 per cent in the first quarter from the year-earlier period.

In the Middle East, Android has an 80 per cent market share, while Apple has 17 per cent.

ascott@thenational.ae

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Published: August 18, 2015 04:00 AM

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