Samsung Refines Galaxy S6 Edge+, Note 5 Flagship Smartphones
In examining the latest Samsung phones, Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis, told eWEEK that the company is emphasizing the S6 Edge+ and Note 5 because most of its profits come from these models. "The Galaxy S6 is not selling as well as Samsung needs it to, and profits are dropping rapidly, so the company needs the Note to pick up the slack," Greengart wrote in an Aug. 13 report. "It won't—there is not enough new here to grab consumers' attention and change the trajectory Samsung is on." The S6 Edge+, meanwhile, seems to be popular with consumers, Greengart wrote, even though "the dual curved edges make the phone somewhat difficult to hold, and the curvature creates optical distortion that can be annoying." Despite those criticisms, "If Samsung can manufacture them in volume, the S6 Edge+ should bring Samsung something it desperately seeks: hardware differentiation that competitors cannot copy," wrote Greengart.Samsung is still trying to figure out how to continue to hold its shrinking lead in the global smartphone market in a competitive atmosphere that has seemingly placed a target on Samsung's corporate back. In its second-quarter earnings report, released July 30, the news for Samsung wasn't great. Revenue in the latest quarter fell 7 percent to $41 billion from $44.5 billion one year ago, and net profit dropped 8 percent to $4.9 billion from $5.3 billion in the second quarter of 2014. The company's mobile products revenue, which includes smartphones, fell 6.86 percent in the second quarter to $21.7 billion, down from $23.3 billion one year ago. Samsung does not break out individual numbers for its smartphone and tablets sales. The mobile products unit's operating profit of $2.36 billion fell 37.6 percent from $3.79 billion for the same period one year ago. The Q2 news was yet another in a string of disappointing earnings reports for the company as its chief competitor, Apple, continues to rake in huge revenue and profits from its popular iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones. The company had hoped that the April launch of the latest Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones would help it dramatically battle back against Apple's iPhones, which came out in September 2014. Samsung even held its special Samsung Unpacked 2015 preview event on Aug. 13, about a month before its normally scheduled September launches, so it can try to beat Apple in the marketplace.
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 Galaxy S5 phone.