Galaxy Note8 in­bound

Sam­sung con­firms new flag­ship on the way, writes JOHN RIBEIRO

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics has said it is plan­ning to launch in the sec­ond half of this year a new flag­ship phone, lead­ing to spec­u­la­tion that the com­pany is plan­ning an al­ter­na­tive to the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 that had to be re­called last year.

The launch of a new flag­ship smart­phone this year and con­tin­u­ing sales of the Galaxy S8 (re­viewed on page 33) and S8+ will help Sam­sung counter Ap­ple’s launch of a new ver­sion of its iPhone. Ap­ple usu­ally un­veils new phones in Septem­ber. “Sam­sung does an­nounce a S se­ries phone in the first half of the year and a Note se­ries in the sec­ond half,” said Ki­ran­jeet Kaur, re­search man­ager for client de­vices at IDC Asia/Pa­cific. “So I am not sure if Sam­sung is al­lud­ing to the next Note or if they want to in­tro­duce a new se­ries to avoid any ques­tions or doubts that may arise be­cause of the Note7 de­ba­cle.” A Sam­sung spokesper­son said the com­pany can­not com­ment on “the fu­ture prod­uct plan.” How­ever, Sam­sung Mobile pres­i­dent DJ Koh con­firmed ear­lier in the year that “a bet­ter, safer,

and very in­no­va­tive Note 8” will launch at some point. The com­pany has started ship­ping its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smart­phones in the UK and cer­tain other markets. The com­pany had said pre­orders for the two smart­phones were higher than they had been for the pre­de­ces­sor Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, launched in March last year.

The S8 ran into com­plaints about red-tinted screens and prob­lems with the Wi-Fi con­nec­tion for which the com­pany is re­port­edly is­su­ing a soft­ware fix. The com­pany also de­cided that the voice fea­ture on its Bixby voice-ac­ti­vated per­sonal as­sis­tant would be avail­able in the US only later in the spring.

Sam­sung stopped pro­duc­tion of the Note7 in Oc­to­ber af­ter com­plaints the phone bat­ter­ies had in some cases over­heated and even ex­ploded. The com­pany blamed bat­ter­ies sup­plied by two man­u­fac­tur­ers for the prob­lem.

Earn­ings

Last month, the com­pany’s IT & Mobile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (IM) divi­sion, which in­cludes the com­pany’s smart­phone busi­ness, re­ported a drop in rev­enue and prof­its in the first quar­ter, which the com­pany blamed on ad­just­ments of the prices of the S7 and S7 edge. The rev­enue of the divi­sion was down by close to 15 per­cent to 23.5 tril­lion won (£16 bil­lion) from 27.6 tril­lion won in the same quar­ter last year, the com­pany said. Op­er­at­ing profit also dropped by 47 per­cent to nearly 4 tril­lion won.

Smart­phone ship­ments in­creased slightly in the quar­ter be­cause of the newly re­leased mid-range Galaxy A 2017 se­ries and strong sales in emerg­ing markets of mid- to low-end phones, Sam­sung said. The new flag­ship smart­phone and the global roll­out of the Galaxy S8 and

S8+ are ex­pected to help the divi­sion in­crease rev­enue and profit. But the com­pany said that com­pe­ti­tion is ex­pected to in­ten­sify in the sec­ond half as a re­sult of the roll­out of new smart­phones by ri­vals, in what ap­pears to be a ref­er­ence to Ap­ple’s launch of a new ver­sion of the iPhone later this year.

Sam­sung can­not ig­nore the im­pend­ing launch of the tenth an­niver­sary iPhone as there is al­ready so much hype build­ing around it, Kaur said. In emerg­ing markets such as In­dia and In­done­sia, Chi­nese ven­dors such as Oppo and Vivo have been relentless in their pur­suit of mar­ket share, she added. “They are do­ing this in the mid-range seg­ment which is very im­por­tant for Sam­sung as well in these markets,” she added.

The Korean firm said it will look to stay prof­itable in the mid- to low-end seg­ment by launch­ing new prod­ucts and stream­lin­ing its line-up.

The com­pany’s over­all rev­enue growth in the first quar­ter was al­most flat at 50.55 tril­lion won in the first quar­ter. The op­er­at­ing profit grew by 48 per­cent to 9.9 tril­lion won mainly on stronger de­mand for the com­pany’s com­po­nents like mem­o­ries and dis­plays.

Sam­sung Galaxy Note7

Sam­sung Galaxy S8+

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