Can Samsung Galaxy Note 4 curb Apple iPhones?

September 24, 2014
Lee Don-joo, head of strategic marketing for Samsung Electronics' mobile business division, speaks about the company's new smartphone, the "Galaxy Note 4," during an unpacking event in Berlin, Wednesday, two days before the opening of the IFA 2014. (Courtesy of Samsung Electronics)

Lee Don-joo, head of strategic marketing for Samsung Electronics’ mobile business division, speaks about the company’s new smartphone, the “Galaxy Note 4.” (Courtesy of Samsung Electronics)

By Kim Yoo-chul

Samsung Electronics is unhappy to see what’s happening with the sale of Apple’s two new iPhones ― the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ― as consumer reaction has been tremendous.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Sales for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Apple said first-weekend sales topped 10 million ― it did not break down sales for individual models.

Now, attention is being shifted to whether Samsung will steal the spotlight with its latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4 tablet.

“The positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices prompted us to launch the Note 4 earlier than previously scheduled. Samsung will be aggressive in promoting the Note 4 as it’s true that we are being challenged and pressured amid a difficult situation,” said an official at Samsung’s marketing unit.

Samsung will hold a press conference to mark the official debut of the Note 4, Gear and VR headsets at its main office in Seocho, southern Seoul, Thursday.

The Note 4 will be available from the nation’s three major carriers ― SKT, KT and Uplus ― from Sept. 26. It was originally scheduled to be released here in October.

Like Apple, Samsung has set a challenging goal, internally, for the sale of the Note 4.

“Samsung aims to ship 15 million Note 4s in the first 30 days after the product launches, which is very ambitious given the challenging situation,” said another official at another Samsung unit.

That means Samsung may ship 3.75 million Note 4s for the launch weekend.

But the company remains positive it can achieve its goal as its own study shows that consumers have a stronger interest in purchasing large smartphones with competitive prices and improved specifications.

In Korea, the suggested retail price for the Note 4 was set at 957,000 won without contracts ― the lowest price tag since Samsung opened its phablet chapter with the Note series in 2011.

The Note 1 was priced at 999,000 won, while the Notes 2 and 3 were sold for 1.08 million won and 1.06 million won, respectively, to Korean consumers.

The Note 4 has improved specifications as it has full metal body, quad high-definition OLED display and is operated by Samsung’s in-house octa-core processor. It was expected that the new Samsung phablet would cost more than 1.1 million won in Korea.

If Samsung ships 15 million Note 4s in the first month after their launch, it will help the company improve margins at its ailing smartphone business division. Samsung shipped 10 million Note 3s in its first two months.

Samsung hopes a cut in price will work because Apple’s large-sized iPhones are breaking records.