Samsung aims to boost Gulf sales with new Note 10 but 5G not yet on offer

Number of Note 10 pre-orders is 27 per cent higher than its predecessor Note 9

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone seller, aims to boost sales in the Arabian Gulf market with the roll out of its Galaxy Note 10 series even as mobile device sales are slowing globally and competition heats up for 5G dominance.

While Samsung announced 5G-enabled variants of both Note 10 and Note 10+ this month at its global launch event in New York, the company has not yet disclosed when it will roll out 5G devices in the UAE.

Chinese smartphone manufacturers Huawei and ZTE are already selling 5G-enabled smartphones in the country. Oppo is expected to launch its Reno 5G phone in the UAE next month.

Still, demand for the Note 10 has been higher than Samsung's previous model. Pre-orders are 27 per cent higher than its predecessor the Note 9, launched at the same time last year, according to Tarek Sabbagh, head of IT and mobile division at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

"Consumers' response towards Note 10 is robust … giving us more confidence," Mr Sabbagh told The National.

Global smartphone sales declined 1.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, totalling 368 million units, according to US researcher Gartner.

With 20.4 per cent market share, Samsung retained its position as the top smartphone seller, followed by Huawei and Apple with 15.8 and 10.5 per cent, respectively, Gartner said.

For the first time, the Galaxy Note offers two variants - Note 10 and Note 10+. Note 10 comes with a 16-centimetre screen, while the Note 10+ has a 17.3cm display (the biggest Note display yet).

With Note 10, Samsung is trying to capture new customers who earlier stayed away from Note due to its bulky size.

Industry analysts say Note 10 sales could add to Samsung’s business.

“The new Note series will help Samsung to grow its share in the premium segment of smartphone industry,” said Tarun Pathak, an associate director with Hong Kong-headquartered research firm Counterpoint.

Though market experts say Note 10 phones are “mighty expensive”, Mr Sabbagh said it is a well considered move.

“Prices were carefully studied to ensure our phones reach all consumer groups. In fact, Note 10+, with 512GB memory space, is Dh100 cheaper than the price of Note 9 [512GB] at the time of its launch.

Note 10+, with 256GB of memory, is priced at Dh3,999, while the 512GB memory variant will cost Dh4,499. The smaller Note 10, with 256GB memory, will cost Dh3,499.