Next week, Samsung will take the wraps off its next-gen Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note Edge+ at a special event in New York. The Galaxy Note 5 announcement would come just a couple of weeks after the Korean electronics giant reported disappointing second-quarter results. Samsung’s net profit declined 8% YoY to $4.9 billion. The condition of its mobile business was even worse, where Q2 operating profits tumbled from 4.42 trillion won to 2.76 trillion won.
Galaxy Note 5 an upsized version of S6
Samsung admitted that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge sales were not as good as expected. The company is planning to reduce the price of the S6 and S6 Edge in order to “face a difficult business environment.” Samsung dominated the smartphone world with its big screen devices until Apple was stuck to 4-inch iPhones. The launch of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus came as a major blow to Samsung, at least in the premium segment.
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On the other hand, low-cost Android vendors such as Xiaomi, Micromax and OnePlus are eating into Samsung’s market share. But these vendors are not as big a threat to Apple because the Cupertino-based tech giant offers customers something unique: software and services. Apple is not part of the Android crowd, and it has a loyal fan base. Android fans are more loyal to the OS than a smartphone, says Jay McGregor of Forbes.
A plethora of supply chain leaks, rumors and reports suggest that the Galaxy Note 5 will simply be an upsized version of Galaxy S6 with a stylus. It will feature a 5.66-inch Super AMOLED display, 4GB RAM, 3,000mAh battery, Exynos 7420 processor, and Android 5.1.1. Lollipop.
What Samsung needs to do
However, what Samsung needs at this point is something revolutionary, not evolutionary, to set it apart from the crowd. A slightly curved display, higher RAM, and a slightly better camera won’t cut it because the Chinese Android vendors are coming up with their “Next big thing” almost every month. One way could be to launch its own OS. Samsung is dedicated to Tizen. It may be hard to take on Android, but Samsung’s Tizen-based Z1 was a bestseller in India. If the OS tastes similar success in other Asian markets, it may gain enough popularity to challenge Android.
Another alternative is to launch something that other Android vendors can’t easily replicate: probably a foldable display. Samsung already has such a screen in the works. It would require a complex manufacturing process that only a giant like Samsung can pull off, says Jay McGregor.