Samsung, looking for an edge to light a fire under its lagging smartphone sales figures, will unveil its next Galaxy Note phablet in mid-August, at least several weeks earlier than its typical autumn release announcements, in an effort to beat Apple in the constant race for new buyers.
The planned early release of the next Galaxy Note was reported in a July 10 story by The Wall Street Journal, based on comments from an unnamed source.
The earlier product release is aimed at giving Samsung "some breathing room" before Apple's expected mid-September launch of its next-generation, refreshed iPhone smartphones, the story reported.
Samsung's Note phablets are a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, providing users with a noticeably larger screen and a built-in removable stylus that allows users to "write" and draw on the display, which can then be captured in files and saved and sent to others.
The next Note device will follow the existing Note 4 and Note 4 Edge, which has a display that wraps around both edges of the device. The upcoming Galaxy Note is important to Samsung as it continues to seek products that will capture the imaginations and purchasing dollars of consumers and enterprise users. Since Apple's launch of its latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones in September 2014, the iPhones have set sales records and raked in billions of dollars for Apple, which likely has caused heartburn for Samsung executives.
Samsung's latest flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones were released in April and have been selling well for Samsung, but the company misjudged the desirability of the larger, more expensive S6 Edge and didn't order enough production, which has hurt revenue. The company ended up having more white S6 phones than it could sell and not enough S6 Edge handsets, which hurt sales, revenue and profit figures, according to a recent eWEEK report.
Samsung is now trying to ramp up production of the S6 Edge to meet the higher-than-expected demand, but the question remains whether the move is too late or if it can still help the company raise sales of the popular smartphone model.
Samsung is pushing the release of the next Galaxy Note up to try to avoid being left behind in Apple's wake after that company launches its newest products.
Earlier in July, Samsung released its estimated second-quarter 2015 financial figures, which show expected drops in revenue and profit as the huge technology company continues to be plagued by disappointing financial results. In estimates released July 6, Samsung said it expects to report operating profits of $6.1 billion for the quarter ended June 30, which is a 4 percent drop from the same period a year ago, as well as revenue of $42.3 billion, 8.4 percent lower than the total one year ago.
The numbers are particularly disappointing because the recent release of the company's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones was expected to begin to bring Samsung back into the black in its fight with Apple's hugely popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.
Samsung will release its final figures for the second quarter in late July. The estimates show the company heading for its seventh straight quarterly profit decline.
Samsung has been hit hard in recent years by lower sales of its mobile phones, which have been losing ground to cheaper phones from Chinese handset makers, and from stiffer competition from Apple and other competitors. Much of the recent sales slump likely was due to consumers who were waiting to see the then-new iPhones and Samsung's own replacement for its earlier flagship Galaxy S5 phone.