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Sales of Galaxy Note 20 expected to be weaker than predecessor: analysts

All News 09:44 August 07, 2020

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- Sales of Samsung Electronics Co.'s new flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 20, are likely to be lower than its predecessor, analysts here said Friday, with fierce competition with rivals expected in the second half of the year.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 20 series at the Galaxy Unpacked online event Wednesday, with larger screens and enhanced S Pen stylus.

The Galaxy Note 20 comes with two models -- the standard Note 20 with a 6.7-inch flat screen offering a 60Hz refresh rate and the Note 20 Ultra with a 6.9-inch curved-edge display supporting a 120Hz refresh rate.

Preorders for the Note 20 series started in South Korea, with a price tag of 1.199 million won (US$1,000) for standard Note 20 and 1.452 million won for high-end Note 20 Ultra. The official launch of Samsung's latest phablet is slated for Aug. 21.

The price of the standard Note 20 is lower than its predecessor, the Note 10, released last year.

This photo taken on Aug. 6, 2020, shows Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Note 20 phablet displayed at a store in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Despite upgraded features and a relatively competitive price, analysts said sales of the Note 20 series could be around 8 million units in its debut year, 1 million units fewer than that of the Note 10 series.

"The COVID-19 crisis has increased demand volatility and pushed up sales of mid-to-low tier smartphones," said Ko Eui-young, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities. "With Apple's 5G-supporting iPhone to be released, there will be also fierce competition in advanced markets."

Apple Inc. took a 57-percent market share of the premium smartphone segment, referring to handsets with wholesale price over $400, in the first quarter of the year, far above Samsung's 19 percent, according to data from market tracker Counterpoint Research.

Apple usually starts selling its new phones in late September, but U.S. tech titan recently announced that launch of its 5G-powered iPhone 12 will be delayed a few weeks.

Samsung will also have to compete with Huawei Technologies Co., which is expected to release its flagship Mate 40 series in October. The Chinese tech firm overtook Samsung as the world's largest smartphone vendor in the second quarter of the year, according to market researchers International Data Corp. (IDC) and Canalys.

This image captured from Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Unpacked event shows the company's Galaxy Note 20 smartphone and S Pen stylus. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Analysts also pointed out that Samsung may face product cannibalization when its Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable smartphone goes on sale in September.

"The market position of the Note series has become somewhat indistinct due to emergence of foldable smartphones," said Cho Chul-hee, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities. "It gave up the super high-end status to foldable smartphones."

Samsung did not unveil detailed specifications of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the follow-up to its first foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold, at the Galaxy Unpacked event. There has been a rumor that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 may sport S Pen like the Note 20 series, but the company did not include the stylus for its horizontally-bending phone.

Despite tepid sales forecast for the Note 20 series, analysts, however, predicted that Samsung will recover its overall mobile sales in the second half of the year.

"Samsung's smartphone shipment volume is expected to reach 150 million units in the second half of the year, up 31 percent from 110 million units in the first half," said Lee Chang-min, an analyst at KB Securities. "The company could benefit from U.S. sanctions on Huawei and anti-China sentiment in India."

kdon@yna.co.kr
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