(Adds Samsung executive and industry expert quotes, details,
NEW YORK/SEOUL Aug 13 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co
Ltd unveiled a new Galaxy Note phablet and a larger
version of its curved-screen S6 edge smartphone on Thursday,
marking a fresh bid by the South Korean company to revive
momentum in its handset business.
Samsung is the world’s top smartphone maker but its market
share fell in the second quarter when the company released its
critically acclaimed S6 models, squeezed by Apple Inc’s
upscale iPhones and cheaper offerings from Chinese rivals such
as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
The manufacturer responded with S6 price cuts and moving up
the Note unveiling from its usual early September spot, ahead of
the latest iPhone launch expected in September.
The event announcing the new gadgets was attended by more
than 1,000 people, almost filling the Alice Tully Hall at the
Lincoln Center in New York.
Samsung has made several hardware changes for the new
devices, including a faster processor for the Galaxy Note 5 and
increasing the screen size of the S6 edge+ to 5.7 inches from
5.1 inches on the S6 edge.
Samsung has high hopes for the Note. “Each new version has
been more popular than the last,” said Justin Denison, vice
president of product strategy and marketing for Samsung
Both are powered by Samsung’s Exynos chips, the company
The phones will go on sale on Aug. 21 in the United States
and Canada. They will be available on the four major carriers:
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.
One expert said he was not sure how well the phones would
help Samsung’s efforts in the competitive smartphone market.
The phones were not different enough, said Jonathan Roubini,
editor-in-chief of Lab Reviews, “So that’s why it’s very hard
for them to gain that market share from Apple.”
Roubini said that they may frustrate Android users. “The
phone looks very cool, but you cannot change the battery, and
you cannot add memory to it.”
Samsung shares closed at 1,140,000 won on Thursday, down
Samsung also said its mobile payment service Samsung Pay
will launch on Aug. 20 in South Korea and Sept. 28 in the United
Samsung Pay lets users make payments by having phones send
signals to existing magnetic stripe card readers, offering
greater store coverage than Apple’s Apple Pay service which
requires retailers to install compatible equipment.
The payments service will expand to the United Kingdom,
Spain and China, the company said, without giving dates.
($1 = 1,174.0 won)
(Additional reporting by Mari Saito and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing
by Bill Rigby and Grant McCool)