Samsung pioneered the big smartphone race by introducing the then gigantic 5.2 inch Galaxy Note in 2011. Following the success of the first generation Galaxy Note, it gave what had then come to be known as the “phablet” lineup another go with the Galaxy Note II which was widely popular and cemented the Korean company’s place in the top smartphone sales for years to come. The Galaxy Note 3 was equally popular.
It is the Galaxy Note 4 however that arrived in the market at a time when everyone wanted in on the big smartphone table. Samsung had previously survived such onslaughts but you hardly have a fighting chance when that someone is Apple. Apple’s move to introduce bigger iPhones totally changed the game. In order to not be caught up in such a situation again this year, Samsung decided to move fast and introduce to the market its next generation Galaxy Note earlier. The result is the Galaxy Note 5 that was unveiled yesterday.
But the Galaxy Note 5 was not alone. It was accompanied by another device. The Galaxy S6 Edge+. It is seen by many as a bigger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge that the company unveiled back in February and introduced in various markets between late March and early April. And it is if you look at the specifications of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and those of the S6 Edge. Save for a few software enhancements and of course the bump in screen size to 5.7 inches, the former is pretty much an iteration of the latter. While Samsung was likely testing the waters with a new product, the new device went on to outsell the more conventional “flat” Galaxy S6. So unforeseen was the situation that Samsung couldn’t keep up with demands for the dual-edge curved display S6 Edge.
After experiencing sluggish sales of its more standard Galaxy S6 model and fast sales of the new S6 Edge with the unique display, Samsung went back to correct everything it had missed in the first place. The result? The Galaxy S6 Edge+ we saw yesterday. Probably the company also believes that the market will be better served by the S6 Edge+ than the more traditional Galaxy Note 5 which is simply picking up from where the Note 4 left with much needed updates in design and software and notable omissions in the hardware like the lack of expandable storage and removable battery as a result. Without citing anything more specific than “marketing purposes”, Samsung won’t be releasing the Galaxy Note 5 in several markets around the world. The European market is one of them. Samsung has already confirmed that the Galaxy Note 5 won’t be available in the United Kingdom for instance and this is not going down well with some users, critics and retailers.
One such party, Clove, has started an online petition to compel Samsung to go back on its decision to not introduce the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe. It is understandable why they feel aggrieved. The Galaxy Note 5 has always been a “not for everyone” kind of device that serves a specific user set that is very loyal and for retailers that means guaranteed sales most of the time. While the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a proven product thanks to the success of the S6 Edge, it doesn’t hurt to provide variety and letting users choose for themselves. It looks like Samsung’s new factory to mass produce the curved displays that the Galaxy s6 Edge+ packs is in pretty good shape hence why the company is confident it is the S6 Edge+ and not the Note 5 it wants to push.
While Samsung has not ruled out ever taking the Galaxy Note 5 to the markets where it won’t be debuting starting August 21st, it has been non-committal on when that may happen. Europe has to operate with a vague “2016” reference while other regions like Africa and Latin America and parts of Asia (like India) are still in the dark. We’ll wait to see how this unfolds. Petitions may be useful in getting us to plead the case of dead lions, preventing the closure of apps we’ve grown to love and other things like the return of our favourite TV show hosts but will they prove effective in getting a global brand like Samsung to change its mind?