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Are The Big Discounts Being Offered On The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Real?

Under pressure in the Smartphone market Samsung appears to be sacrificing volume for profits in Australia, by launching the world’s most expensive smartphone the new Note 9, though the decision by carriers and Samsung to discount out from day one of the device going on pre order raises questions as to whether the $1,799 price tag was artificial in the first place.

Samsung Australia is counting on its latest device to lead the charge during the crucial last quarter having launched their premium offering weeks out from an all new Apple iPhone. The Go price for the top end model appears to be $1,499 with no discounts being offered on the 128GB version which is the same price as the 512GB model.

The new Note 9 has a 6.4-inch screen Note 9 will start at $1,499 and max out at $1,799 this is significantly above the iPhone X top end Apple model.

The new device has a lot of added value over the iPhone, it sports a revamped Bluetooth stylus — a long time selling point of the Note series — as well as an upgraded camera that takes sharper photos than the S9 released earlier this year and significantly better battery life than any iPhone model.

In the last quarter Samsung smartphone sales fell in Australia according to IDC. Globally profits almost halved during the same period.

In the mid-market cheaper Chinese brands are flooding the market and brands such as Oppo are buying journalists with trips and gifts while also handing out big marketing dollars to retailers to stock their range of smartphones.

On the other hand, both Oppo and Huawei have failed to dent the sales success of the TCL owned Alcatel smartphones which still owns the #3 sales slot in Australia.

In an effort to deliver additional value Samsung has cut a deal to deliver Spotify to Samsung device owners. This is a direct stab at Apple, Google and Amazon who are all rolling out networked music devices.

The move sent shares of the streaming music service higher over the weekend.

Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek announced the deal at the Samsung Note 9 unveiling in New York. “The partnership we are announcing with Samsung is a truly cross platform listening experience,” Mr Ek said.

The deal will see Samsung customers given prompts to sign up for Spotify as they set up their new smartphone or TV. The music service will also be plugged into Bixby, Samsung’s rival to the Siri and Alexa virtual assistants, and Galaxy Home, its new smart speaker, which will go up against Apple’s HomePod and Amazon’s Echo. This device has not been launched in Australia yet.

“With Spotify, Samsung Galaxy users will now be able to enjoy seamless music experiences across all our devices,” said DJ Koh, chief executive of Samsung’s mobile division.

As for marketshare slumps Samsung has blamed itself partly for the disappointing performance, saying on an earnings call that it’s played too safe with smartphones too long with radical new designs including a folding smartphone set to be released soon. Some are tipping CES in Las Vegas.

The Company claims that they will introduce eye-opening features faster 5G internet connectivity with the new devices.

“Samsung is planning for a more aggressive design update next year,” Wayne Lim, an analyst with IHS Markit, wrote after the launch.

“Thus, the Note 9 serves primarily to keep the Note customer base happy until the anticipated design changes expected in 2019 along with new technologies like foldable displays.”

A new stylus called the S Pen is this year’s highlight upgrade.

It will let users remotely control the Note 9’s camera and switch between slides in a power point presentation. It’ll also allow more accurate writing and drawing on the phone’s screen.

The Note 9’s camera upgrade is on par with the one given to the S9 in March, adding enhanced colours and exposure. It also has a relocated fingerprint scanner on the back but not one built into the screen, something the company has said it’s developing.

Despite soft smartphone sales Samsung has a solid source of income it can lean on for investment: memory chips, an industry the world’s biggest chipmaker controls with SK Hynix and Micron.

Samsung also supplies the OLED screens that go into premium devices such as the iPhone X.

As for deals on the Galaxy Note 9 all the carriers are jockeying for a slice of the action.

Telstra

“Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note9 today and get a bonus Galaxy Tab A 8.0, exclusive to Telstra. Plus, we’ll upgrade your Note9 memory to 512GB at no additional cost claims Telstra”

Optus

“For a limited time, you can get the Samsung Galaxy Note9 512GB and 128GB for the same price of $1499. That’s a $300 discount on the 512GB from its original price of $1799. Don’t miss out, this pre-sale exclusive offer ends 23/08/18. T&C apply claims Optus”.