As we wait for the Cupertino Company, Apple, to launch their flagship smartphone iPhone 8 today, its South Korean arch-rival Samsung has reasons to smile all the way to the bank. Samsung says the pre-orders it has received so far beats any pre-orders they have recorded during the launch of the previous Note series devices.
It goes without saying that Samsung is banking on the Note 8 to redeem its brand reputation following the embarrassment and losses it got with the exploding Note 7.
With Apple set to launch its iPhone 8 today, Samsung needs the Note 8 to entice as many people as possible. The two companies, Samsung and Apple, are fielding the Note 8 and the iPhone 8 against each other over at least the next one year.
Dong-Jin Koh, the President of the Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications business said, the pre-orders for the Note 8 hit 650,000 in just five days. The orders were coming from 40 countries, and this initial response is “very encouraging” to say the least.
It is important to point out that the Note 8 is the most expensive smartphone Samsung has released. It cost $969 in South Korea and $930 in the United States. Despite the high price, by Friday launch, it has received over 650,000 pre-orders.
Samsung next Flagship Phone could be a Foldable Note series and a Smart Speaker
During a media briefing today, Samsung said it intends to launch a foldable smartphone under the Galaxy Note series. Perhaps the successor of the current Note 8, say Note 9, will be a foldable tablet.
Koh said Samsung is setting the released of a foldable Note series device as a target for next year. Though he did admit the company is currently facing a number of challenges in developing the bendable display; thus Samsung remains noncommittal as to what exact date they could release the phone. Perhaps, Samsung might need to push back the date.
“As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year. When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product,” said Koh. Though he failed to give details of the hurdles they are currently facing in developing the bendable displays.
Koh also revealed that Samsung is currently partnering with the auto-system maker, Harman, to develop an AI-powered smart speaker. This speaker will rival the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
This development will complement Samsung AI-powered digital assistant, Bixby. It is anticipated, the new Smart Speakers by Samsung will host Bixby as the AI digital assistant. Users will then call upon Bixby to play music and conduct other tasks in their homes. Just like what Alexa does on the Amazon Echo speakers, or Google Now does on the Google Home speakers.
FYI: Microsoft is also working on launching a Smart Speaker that will house Cortana. Apple has set sometime later this year as the launch date for its Homepod.