Call it dancing to Apple’s tune. Call it a calculated move to get more headlines and build more hype. But Samsung’s apparent move to bring the launch of its Galaxy Note 5 forward to August makes complete sense.
The Korean giant is not in a good way right now. Sure, it’s still making big money.
But with its profits set to slip again according to its own initial forecasts, something needs to be done in order to wrest back the initiative and show itself to be on a par with its arch rival and fiercest competitor.
The Note series of devices usually launches at or around IFA in Berlin in early September, a move designed to draw the hordes towards Samsung at a public event, while showing its fellow Android mobile-makers who’s boss.
Last year, that backfired in a major way, with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, replete with larger displays, arriving six days later and stealing headlines and sales galore. It’s something Samsung hasn’t got over.
Its S6 and S6 Edge were supposed to usher in a return to commercial superiority.
But a miscalculation regarding demand for the latter device meant its profits have hit the skids for the seventh quarter running.
Therefore, launching the Note 5 in August is essential. It can have a clear run at the tech press at a traditionally quiet time of year.
It can show off its device to punters well ahead of the iPhone 6S, which is expected in early September.
And if it can get the phone in stores within a matter of days after its launch event, it might just edge itself back to profitability.
Those, though, are some big ifs.
Hype around Apple’s new iPhones isn’t going to die quietly and rumours have suggested that Apple has already ordered as many as 90 million units, so confident is it of selling even more of its handsets than last year.
Users after a new phone will surely be more than happy to hang tight for a few weeks if a new iPhone is in the offing.
Commercial, rather than critical, success is what Samsung needs. The S6 and S6 Edge won plenty of plaudits but don’t appear to have done the business expected.
The world seems to have moved on from those Galaxy phones and only something bigger and smarter can take their place.
The Note 5 promises much and an early launch is essential. Whether Samsung can market it successfully and outdo Apple is another matter entirely.