The Samsung Note 10 is aiming for an August 7 reveal and launch, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, who spoke to CNET.
Will the 10th iteration of this phablet device help Samsung push back against headwinds in the global market, though?
It seems Samsung will be revealing its latest Note device at the same venue it used for the Note 9 unveiling: the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York. The reveal will occur during Samsung’s summer Unpacked event. This information is part of the tip CNET received from sources.
The company’s previous Unpacked event took place in San Francisco back in February, where we got our first look at Samsung’s first-ever foldable phone, the (surprise, surprise)… Samsung Galaxy Fold. After several review copies broke or became damaged in the hands of tech editors, Samsung had to postpone the US release date for the Galaxy Fold past April 26 while it figured out the issues with the device. The device carries a whopping $1,980 price tag.
Financial performance has suffered
According to Engadget, Samsung said in its Q1 earnings report that it “still believes foldable devices, along with the Galaxy Note and 5G will help ‘strengthen’ its leadership in premium smartphones.” This is Samsung’s way of appeasing investors, which witnessed the company’s profits in Q1 2019 drop 60.2%. Revenue fell 13% during the same period. Tech site Sam Mobile notes that is Samsung’s worst performance since the exploding Note 7 debacle in 2016, 3 years ago.
But Samsung’s staggered performance can’t be blamed entirely on the company.
Global smartphone slowdown
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone vendors shipped a total of 310.8 million units in Q1 2019, globally, which marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline for the industry. This figure represented a 6.6% drop in shipments, year over year.
The smartphone market as a whole has witnessed decreased demand in recent years. Innovation has significantly slowed, and new enticing features have decreased. After all, the Galaxy S9 was barely an upgrade from the highly-popular Galaxy S8. You can only add so many cameras before customers catch on that phone makers are grasping at straws by this point. This is why Samsung and rivals such as Huawei are touting 5G and foldable screen tech as the next big things to happen to smartphones. The Chinese company revealed its own foldable smartphone in February as well, and it’s even pricier than the $2,000 Galaxy Fold.
But Huawei, and consequently the rest of the smartphone market, will feel the sting from the escalating US-China trade war, especially since US President Donald Trump’s administration blacklisted Huawei, preventing it from doing business with US companies. Huawei provides a lot of components to manufacturers across the industry, and the blowback from this ban will be significant.
2019 seems set to be another tough year for the market, but there is some hope. In May, IDC said it expects shipments in the first half of 2019 (1H19) will be down 5.5% compared to 1H18, but the second half of the year should see shipment growth of 1.4% driven by 5G acceleration, a growing selection of lower-priced premium handsets, and on-going uplift from markets like India.
So, the Note 10 could very help boost the South Korean company’s financials, especially if the Galaxy Fold comes soon after.
If you can’t wait till August, some media outlets have begun circulating rumored renders of the upcoming Note 10, if you want to have a look for yourself.