Samsung eyes reset with new Galaxy Note

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note as it seeks to leave behind the debacle over exploding batteries in the previous generation of the device, and mount a renewed challenge to Apple and its soon-to-come iPhone 8.

Introducing the Note 8 “phablet” at an event in New York City, executives repeatedly thanked fans who had remained loyal to the device.

“None of us will ever forget what happened last year,” said Samsung president of mobile communications business DJ Koh.

“But, I will never forget how millions of dedicated Note loyalists stayed with us, so let me express my deepest gratitude.”

But the device left some analysts underwhelmed by its lack of new features beyond a dual-lens camera for telephoto zoom — already available on the iPhone7 Plus.

Shares in Samsung Electronics ended almost unchanged at 2 376 000 won, up just 0.08%, in its native South Korea Thursday with uncertainty over the fate of Lee Jae-Yong, the company’s de-facto head, also weighing on market sentiment.

The heir to the Samsung empire faces a verdict Friday in a corruption trial which could see him jailed for 12 years, threatening a leadership crisis at the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

Analysts mixed

The South Korean giant laid claim to being the first smartphone maker to field a “phablet” device — combining features of smartphones and tablets — when it introduced the first Note five years ago.

Samsung did not disclose the price of the Note 8, which will hit shops on September 15 but will be available for pre-orders starting Thursday.

“All in all, it was a good day for Samsung,” Moore Insights and Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead said at the event.


“The Note 7 is clearly behind them and now it’s onto the future with the Note 8.”

The analyst depicted the Note 8 as Samsung’s best opportunity in years to gain market share in the fiercely competitive premium smartphone market.

But Lee Kyu-Ha, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities said it was “somewhat disappointing” and said it had “no significant change” from the Galaxy S8 smartphone beyond the dual cameras.

iPhone turns 10

The Note 8 debut comes on the heels of Samsung launching new Galaxy 8 smartphones, and as the South Korean consumer electronics giant and fellow market leader Apple seek wow factors that can help them fend off challenges from rising Chinese-based manufacturers.

Apple is under particular pressure to dazzle as the culture-changing California iPhone maker looks for a way to maintain its image as an innovation leader in a global market showing signs of slowing.

Apple is expected to unveil a 10th anniversary version of the iPhone in September.

“Clearly, Apple wants to do something different,” NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker told AFP.

Reports say the new iPhone will include a high-quality, edge-to-edge screen with a notch in the top for an extra camera supporting 3D facial recognition.

Some speculate that the back of the new handset will be glass and will offer wireless charging.

Meanwhile, Google-made Pixel smartphones that debuted last year will likely get a second generation in the months ahead.

Global smartphone sales saw a modest decline of 0.8% in the second quarter of 2017, an IDC survey showed.

Samsung maintained top spot in the crowded field with a 23.3 percent market share, while Apple held onto second place with 12 percent, according to IDC.

“Samsung had the Note 7 debacle, but it appears their troubles are behind them,” GlobalData analyst Avi Greengart told AFP. “Samsung is doing some amazing things with its display and design.”

‘Infinity’ and beyond 

Note 8 handsets boasted “infinity” screens that span edge-to-edge on handsets, to enhance the viewing of video or help to juggle multiple tasks.

Samsung said it also built its Bixby virtual assistant smarts into Note 8 as it battles to compete with artificial intelligence being meshed into handsets powered by Apple or Google-backed Android software.

Note 8 also boasted water and dust resistance, along with wireless charging capability.

In an interview with CNBC, Koh confirmed that Samsung is working on a smart speaker infused with Bixby that will take on home assistant devices fielded by Amazon, Google and Apple.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday