Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) announced Wednesday that it will launch its Galaxy Note 4 phablet in South Korea on Friday, September 26. The device will hit Chinese stores by the end of this week, well ahead of the iPhone 6. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is yet to launch its big-screen iPhones in the world’s biggest market, disappointing thousands of Chinese fans.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Launch Date Set For This Week

Samsung trying to defend sales in China from new iPhones?

Samsung’s announcement comes just days after its rival Apple revealed that it sold a record 10 million iPhone 6 units in the opening weekend. On September 3, the Korean electronics giant had stated that it would launch Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge in October. But now Samsung says it will launch Note 4 in its home country and China this week. By the end of October, Galaxy Note 4 will be available in over 140 countries. Note Edge with curved display is still expected to arrive in October.

It’s the first time Samsung’s flagship smartphone goes on sale in China before other markets. It reflects the company’s desire to defend sales from new iPhones. Going by consumer response, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will pose a big threat to Note 4 when they arrive in China. Samsung forecasts to sell 15 million units of Galaxy Note 4 in the first month of its launch.

All three Korean carriers to sell Galaxy Note 4

All three South Korean carriers will begin selling Note 4 this Friday. Chinese telecom operators including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom will release the phone later this month. Samsung is facing challenges on multiple fronts. The company’s second-quarter profits slumped 20% from the previous year. Local vendors in China and India have added to its woes in the low-cost segment.

Galaxy Note 4 comes with 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution and 515ppi density. It is powered by 3GB RAM and 2.7GHz octa-core processor. The device runs the latest Android KitKat. Galaxy Note 4 packs 16-megapixel main camera with LED flashes and optical image stabilization. It is capable of taking 4K videos. The front camera is 3.7-megapixel.

U.S. sales of Galaxy Note 4 will kick off on October 17, said Samsung.