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COMMENT:Samsung Has A New Note 10, But Some Say It’s Not Enough To Attract Buyers

Samsung Electronics has seen a 42% slump in mobile phone profits and their top end smartphones are struggling, in Australia the Korean Company who has just rolled out their latest top end Galaxy Note 10 in the hope that it will arrest the slide in profits and market share in the premium market has moved to flogging cheap Samsung smartphones to prop up market share.

What is surprising is that unlike top end premium brands they have meddled with their most expensive model the Galaxy Note 10 reducing the display and eliminating a headphone jack, some analysts claim it’s a move to reduce the price of their top end devices in an effort to improve their profits which have been hit by slowing demand for a Samsung device and a move by Apple to find new suppliers other than Samsung for their iPhones.

In another move aimed at getting back the premium smartphone share they have lost Samsung is now producing the Note 10 in two sizes and with and without faster 5G.

In the past Chinese vendors such as Huawei Technologies have eroded the Korean company’s share of premium devices market now the Company is facing the real possibility that Chinese consumers will move to local Chinese brands as opposed to Samsung and Apple products following the US trade war with China of which Huawei has become a victim.

The Galaxy Note 10 line will consist of a 6.3-inch edition and a 6.8-inch model called the Note 10+. The new model also aims to rival the strong synchronization between Apple’s phones, tablets and computers.

A new “Link to Windows” feature lets users sync text messages and photos wirelessly between a Samsung phone and a Windows PC via a Microsoft account.

Another mechanism, an enhanced version of Samsung’s DeX, lets you connect the Note 10 via a USB cable to a Mac or PC to view a phone interface as a computer application.

The all all-display front screen is punctuated by a hole at the top for a selfie camera.

To appeal to S Pen fans, Samsung has introduced a function that converts handwritten notes to text by allowing exporting to various formats like Microsoft Word, PDF and image files. The company added more air gestures, such as zooming the camera in and out by twirling the stylus.

Samsung plans to also let developers write custom gestures for games and apps.

Their latest model is devoid of any radically new capabilities though there is a slight tweak of the S Pen which come with the new device with some New York observers questioning “why bother upgrading”.

Bloomberg journalists said after seeing the device “The biggest drawback for the Note 10, which appears to be speaking to Samsung’s existing audience more than it’s trying to attract a new one is that it may not be enough to set it apart from a crowded field — or from Samsung’s own bendable Fold”.

Other analysts claim it’s a case of Samsung having to do some sort of event just to keep their name at the forefront of the market as brands struggle to come up with new smartphone features or innovation break throughs.

‘It’s unclear “whether Samsung’s old formula of a big screen and stylus will make much of a difference these days, especially when it’s living in the shadow of glitzier products like the Galaxy Fold,” IDC analyst Bryan Ma said ahead of the launch.

The Company is reeling from its bungled Galaxy Fold launch and at last night launch there was little spruiking of the Samsung Fold.

Samsung is counting on the Note 10 to salvage their mobile operating profits and despite having the largest slice of the global smartphone market at over 20%, recent sales increases in Australia have mainly been driven by models that target the $300 and above price segment.

The release of the Samsung A Series have given them share but not necessarily profits.

While the global smartphone market has stuttered, with the research company Gartner predicting a 2.5% decline in worldwide sales this year compared with 2019 Samsung is still banking on Apple not being able to deliver a knockout iPhone that brings consumers back to the Apple fold.

And despite Huawei’s problems, Chinese rivals offering very capable phones at lower prices threaten to eat into Samsung’s market share, these include brands such as Oppo and the soon to be launch TCL range of Android devices.

The radical new Samsung folding phone was meant to signal the next phase of innovation, but the new dawn has been delayed by production problems with the $3,000+ device now due to go on sale in September.

Unlike the Fold, the Galaxy Note is a mass-market product with significant bottom-line implications for Samsung, and much rests on its reception among consumers, those who have a Note are going to see little difference other than a USB C connector for headphones and reduced display quality.

“It will compete more with an installed base of older Note series than Galaxy Fold or iPhone 11,” Tarun Pathak, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, wrote in an email. “There might be overlap or competition to a certain extent but not head-on.”

Counterpoint’s data suggests Samsung sold about 9.6 million Note 9 devices in its first year of availability, and projections from Counterpoint, Samsung Securities and IHS Markit suggest Samsung is unlikely to go beyond 10 million units with its new Note range.

“The average selling price of Samsung’s mobile phones will rise about 11% in the third quarter thanks to Galaxy Note 10’s launch and a sales increase of A series,” Daishin Securities said in an Aug. 1 note.

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