Samsung announced its Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ yesterday. They’ll be available in the US on August 21, about 1.5 months earlier than the Galaxy Note 4 debut in 2014. Why the shift in timing? Samsung’s intent is to attract consumers before Apple announces its next iPhones. I wrote a little piece on that last month, titled Samsung Adjusts its “Pre-Empt and Out-Size” Launch Tempo. It’s not too long, but if you just want a conclusion, here’s mine:
Will it make a meaningful difference? Perhaps, in a small way. I’m sure Samsung’s done the math; looked at when consumers in the US and other markets are most likely to upgrade their handsets. The August timing might align with that. And, as the smartphone market saturates, many of the late adopters aren’t loyal to particular brand, including Apple. So, an earlier Note launch might attract some of these consumers. But, fundamentally, this is a tactic; it doesn’t change the drivers of Apple’s or Samsung’s fortunes. Apple has excellent hardware and software, and an excellent ecosystem. Samsung just has really good hardware. That’s why Apple is number one in profit, and Samsung is number two. This move won’t change the overall situation.