Samsung says Galaxy Note 8 pre-orders highest among Note series

Models pose for photographs with Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 8 during its launching ceremony in Seoul
Models pose for photographs with Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 8 during its launching ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

September 12, 2017

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> on Tuesday said pre-orders for its Galaxy Note 8 premium smartphone have hit the highest-ever for the Note series, beating its predecessor Note 7 over five days by about 2.5 times.

Samsung is banking on the device to protect its market dominance as it competes with Apple Inc’s <AAPL.O> latest iPhones due to be unveiled later on Tuesday. Note 8 sales begin in the United States, South Korea and elsewhere on Friday.

Pre-orders reached about 650,000 Note 8 handsets over five days from about 40 countries, making the initial response “very encouraging,” DJ Koh, president of Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications business, said at a media event.

The device succeeds the short-lived Note 7, whose battery fires resulted in Samsung pulling the device from the market after just a couple of months at a cost of billions of dollars.

Its reputation tarnished, the world’s biggest smartphone maker by market share nevertheless decided to retain the Note brand after a survey showed 85 percent of 5,000 Galaxy Note users expressed brand loyalty, Koh said.

PREMIUM ERA

The Note 8’s U.S. price of $930 to $960, including dialling and data plans, begins an era of premium-priced handsets which analysts expect to be joined by $1,000-plus iPhones.

Apple is widely expected to unveil a special edition iPhone commemorating 10 years of the handset, equipped with edge-to-edge screen and augmented reality, that will compete with the Note 8 for pre-holiday season sales in Western markets.

In China, the Note 8 is tasked with reviving fortunes in the world’s biggest smartphone market where local handset makers such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi Inc [XTC.UL] reduced Samsung’s market share to 3 percent in April-June, showed data from Counterpoint Research.

Koh said it will take time to recover in China but expects changes this year such as appointing a new mobile chief, restructuring and focusing on key buyers to be effective.

Koh also said Samsung hopes to showcase a foldable handset next year but that technological hurdles must be overcome before a decision can be made.

“We are digging thoroughly into several issues we must overcome, as we don’t want to just make a few, sell a few and be done. We want to hear that Samsung made a very good product.”

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christopher Cushing)

  • I have a Galaxy Note 4 and still love it. Each year since the Note 4 I have been waiting for Samsung to get the next Galaxy Note right again. They almost did with the Galaxy Note 8, but it doesn’t have a removable battery. I won’t ever own a phone I can’t turn off and take the power supply out of. We are all constantly being spied on and tracked. Without a guaranteed hard power OFF. I just can’t accept it.