Samsung plans to unveil the latest editions of its flagship mobile devices at a special Samsung Unpacked 2015 preview event on Aug. 13 at Lincoln Center in New York City, about a month before its normally scheduled September launches so it can try to beat Apple in the marketplace.
The company has released no details about the Unpacked event, other than its time and date, which is Samsung's usual practice just before its latest product announcements. Most likely to be touted will be the latest version of its Note phablet, probably to be called the Note 5, as well as an even-larger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge, which was just introduced in April with its standard Galaxy S6 stablemate.
For Samsung, the stakes of these product announcements remain big as the company continues to struggle with market share, revenue and profit in a smartphone marketplace that has been dominated in recent years by arch-rival Apple.
The event could also include the launch of Samsung's first smartwatch in a year, according to a July 27 report by The Wall Street Journal. "With its new smartwatch, Samsung will be looking to advance its push into mobile payments as an alternative to Apple's eponymous payment system," the article reported.
Earlier in July, Samsung announced that its estimated second-quarter 2015 figures 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 company will announce its actual second-quarter financial numbers on July 30.
The estimated figures are particularly disappointing for the company because in April it released its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, to battle back against Apple's hugely popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, which came out in September 2014.
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 is expected to 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 iPhones, they have been setting sales records and raked in billions of dollars for company, 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, 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 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.
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.