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[Newsmaker] Galaxy Note 4 gets mixed response

Sept. 4, 2014 - 20:55 By Park Hyung-ki
The Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Electronics’ all-new smartphone-tablet hybrid unveiled at the 2014 IFA in Berlin, has better display with a faster processing speed than its predecessor.

It is thin and light. It has an S-pen. What else?

The phablet looks much like the Note 3, except that it has a metal frame without the stitches on the back cover. The Note 3’s stitch design received poor reviews last year when it hit the market.

The Note 4 seemingly turned out to be much ado about nothing.
Lee Don-joo, Samsung Electronics Co.’s head of sales and marketing, showcases the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge in Berlin on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The new converged device came short of being called innovative. And this could spell trouble for Samsung, which is hoping to bounce back after the lackluster Galaxy S5, hit by the rising popularity of LG Electronics’ G3 smartphones and other value-added phones that cost less but offer almost the same quality as the Samsung flagship.

The Note 4 could help the Korean tech giant to some extent, analysts said, but not enough to change the game or disrupt the industry.

Hyundai Securities analyst Park Young-joo forecast that sales of the Note 4 would unlikely surpass those of its previous model.

Samsung is expected to ship 11 million units of the Note 4 this year ― 1.5 million in the third quarter and 9.5 million in the fourth quarter, the analyst said.

The Note 4 did not receive as much spotlight as its variant the Galaxy Note Edge at the Berlin electronics trade show.

The Edge is pretty much the same product as the Note 4, with the same display and processing capacity. But it also has a curved edge display on the right-hand side, which stole the Note 4’s thunder at Samsung’s unveiling event.

“The Galaxy Note Edge is a more striking device which is visibly more differentiated from other smartphone markers’ devices because of its curved screen,” said Ian Fogg, head of mobile analysis at IHS Technology, a global market researcher.

“Unlike previous curved screen smartphones, the Galaxy Note Edge screen delivers practical benefits.”

But Samsung will need an ecosystem with third-party developers willing to support and make the curved edge screen unique, he added.

As for the Note 4, it might not get any limelight, as Apple is expected to steal the show with its all-new iPhone 6 with the upgraded iOS8 platform converged with health care services next week.

By Kim Young-won (