Much riding on debut of the Galaxy Note9

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Much riding on debut of the Galaxy Note9


A view of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Samsung Electronics unveiled the Galaxy Note9 Thursday morning local time. [YONHAP]

Samsung Electronics will start taking orders for the much-anticipated Galaxy Note9 on Aug. 13 - a day earlier than originally planned - and regular sales will begin as scheduled on Aug. 24, according to mobile carriers on Thursday.

An unveiling of the company’s next high-end phablet was slated to take place in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York at 11 a.m. Thursday local time, after press time in Korea. The event was supposed to be attended by some 3,000 journalist and industry insiders, the largest such “unpacked event,” and aired real time on Samsung’s web site.

Samsung chose to throw the unpacked event for the Note9 two weeks earlier than last year to buy as much time as possible before competitors Apple and Huawei release flagship phones.

The Galaxy S9 smartphone had a disappointing sales record since its release in March. It sold up to 9.5 million units compared to an initial projection of 15 million and Samsung’s internet and mobile communications division saw its operating profit in the second quarter tumble 34.2 percent from a year earlier to 2.67 trillion won ($2.39 billion). The success of the Note9 is likely to determine Samsung’s future strategy in smartphones.

Samsung, the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor, is threatened by the formidable growth of Huawei, which surpassed Apple in the April-June period to emerge as the world’s second-largest smartphone producer.

The Note9, which is likely to have a 6.4-inch display, comes in two storage sizes - 128 gigabytes and 512 gigabytes, according to sources. The former will cost 1,094,500 won, the same as the Note8, and the latter 1,353,000 won.

With the Note9, Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Watch, its first new smartwatch in two years. It is dropping the Gear brand name for smart watches. The new watch has improved health care features and a more powerful battery.

Samsung slipped to third from second in the global smartwatch market in the second quarter, according to recent data from market researcher Strategy Analytics.

Analysts are also wondering if Samsung will offer a peek at its first smart speaker, which is expected to be officially showcased at the IFA global tech fair in Berlin that kicks off on Aug. 31.

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