A model poses with a Galaxy Note of Samsung Electronics during a local launch event for Samsung's mobile devices at the company's headquarters in Seoul November 28, 2011. Samsung Electronics expects to beat its 2011 smartphone sales target thanks to brisk sales of its Galaxy smartphones, a mobile executive said on Monday.
(Photo : REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won )
Back in June Samsung released the Galaxy S3 as their next generation phone of the future.
The phone went on to sell at a record pace, but the phone's popularity slowly waned as news about Apple's next generation phone started heating up. At one point in the summer, the iPhone which was never even officially announced was declared to be far more anticipated than Samsung's current generation phone.
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Then came the highly publicized lawsuit between the two companies and all of a sudden Samsung was playing second fiddle to the American company. So how did they alleviate their issues? Just days after rumors of an Apple event to reveal the iPhone 5 broke out, Samsung announced that they would be showing off the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in late August.
The move was very likely pre-meditated and Samsung may have wanted to take some steam away from Apple's unveiling of their next generation iPhone. However, Samsung may actually do more damage to themselves than anyone else. With the precipitated announcement of something new, they essentially made the Samsung Galaxy S3 yesterday's news after months and months of promoting it. The phone sold over 10 million devices by the end of July and has yet to be released in other countries like the UK. Reports indicated that Apple had 24 million units of the first Galaxy S phone and 28 million from their S2 phone. By comparison, the Galaxy Note only sold 7 million; a strong figure but one that is a lot lower than that of the phones. So why would Samsung want to take away momentum form its cash cow in favor of one that may not record half of the amount of business the S3 will create for them? The sad thing is that there are still a great deal of people that have yet to purchase Samsung's smart phone and by taking the emphasis away from promoting it, they give Apple an easy outlet for making those customers wait until the September 21 release of the iPhone 5.
When the latest news on your barely-two-month old smart phone is that it will be released in black, it makes it seem that Samsung has lost sight of the big picture in favor of winning a short term publicity battle with Apple. The worst of it is that by pre-empting the announcement of the Note 2, they give Apple the last laugh as the hype created from the Note 2 will be drowned out on September 12 with Apple's own unveiling. If Samsung waited for Apple's hoopla to be finished with and then brought out the Note 2, then they would be the most recent news and put themselves up for a better battle with the tech giant. However, when you announce a new product in late August and your competitor is slated to show off their new toys just weeks later, you put yourself in a precarious situation.
More important is that no one really knows what to expect from Apple with complete certainty.
While Apple is holding all the cards away from view, Samsung is walking a dangerous rope that could hurt their business on multiple fronts. With news that the Note 2 is a little bit bigger than a phone, but smaller than your usual tablet, the Note 2 will inevitably take away steam from the Galaxy S3 if people opt to wait until Note 2 becomes available before upgrading. Throw in the expenses of getting both around the same time period and one of the two devices will suffer.
But the more prevalent question regards the release date and in this case it may be a lose-lose situation for Samsung. Release the device shortly after unveiling it to beat the iPhone 5 out of the gate and the Samsung S3 is done. But release it before the iPhone5 and then they become yesterday's news once Apple's smartphone hits the market. If Samsung chooses to wait until all the Apple buzz has passed to release the Note 2 then they have to compete with the iPhone 5. If they wait too long to release it after their own unveiling, then they could lose out on the buzz created in late August.
The scenario does look bleak and ultimately looks like Samsung's marketing staff made a huge mistake in hopes of retaining the market.