Aug 6, 2020 – 9.26am
Seoul | Samsung unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone and new version of its foldable phone, the Z Fold 2, on Wednesday, hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei and Apple as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump.
Samsung (means “three stars” in English) is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate).
Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company. Over the next three decades, the group diversified into areas including food processing, textiles, insurance, securities, and retail. Samsung entered the electronics industry in the late 1960s and the construction and shipbuilding industries in the mid-1970s; these areas would drive its subsequent growth. Following Lee’s death in 1987, Samsung was separated into four business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group. Since 1990, Samsung has increasingly globalised its activities and electronics; in particular, its mobile phones and semiconductors have become its most important source of income. As of 2017, Samsung has the 6th highest global brand value.Notable Samsung industrial affiliates include Samsung Electronics (the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker measured by 2017 revenues), Samsung Heavy Industries (the world’s 2nd largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (respectively the world’s 13th and 36th largest construction companies). Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world’s 14th largest life insurance company), Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort, the oldest theme park in South Korea) and Cheil Worldwide (the world’s 15th largest advertising agency, as measured by 2012 revenues).Samsung has a powerful influence on South Korea’s economic development, politics, media and culture and has been a major driving force behind the “Miracle on the Han River”. Its affiliate companies produce around a fifth of South Korea’s total exports. Samsung’s revenue was equal to 17% of South Korea’s $1,082 billion GDP.
Samsung launches pricey new Note, foldable phone as virus hits …
Launch or launched may refer to:
Samsung launched its previous premium model, the S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in tough times.
The Z Fold 2 has a 6.2-inch screen when folded to provide a full smartphone experience even when it is closed, Samsung announced during a livestreamed event. Its unfolded display measures 7.6 inches.
The new iteration is thinner than the first Fold, and the hinge is improved to be more resilent, Samsung said.
Samsung did not disclose the phone’s price, but said more details and preorders will be available on September 1.
The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches, 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 console and PC games via a tie-up with Microsoft’s Xbox cloud service.
It will go on sale on August 21 in about 70 countries. The 5G model of the basic version will retail in Australia for $1649 and the more advanced Galaxy Note20 Ultra, which has a sharper, 6.9-inch screen and more-powerful cameras, will cost $1999 and $2199 for the 5G variant with 256GB and 512GB of storage, respectively.
“It is an uncertain time to launch a new premium device given the challenging competitive and economic environments,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight Tech, adding that the “eye-watering price” could deter some buyers.
Apple fans are unlikely to jump ship to the new Samsung model as the 5G iPhone is likely to be launched later this year, analysts say.
Samsung posted a 29 per-cent year-on-year drop in shipments in the June quarter, the biggest fall among top vendors, according to researcher IDC. Apple, which launched the budget-friendly SE during the period, remained resilient with 11 per cent year-on-year shipment growth, while Huawei posted only a 5 per cent fall.
The global smartphone market shrank about 16 per cent on-year in the April-June quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns and consumer caution, a larger contraction than in the first quarter, and is expected to improve only slightly in the second half, IDC said.
“Before the COVID-19 existed, Samsung’s flagship launch usually had a big splash,” said Nabila Popal, research director at data provider IDC. “… Even if things are recovering, the splash is not going to be as big as it was before.”
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