We're just over a week away from the launch of Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, but there's still news of the last galaxy smartphone that needs to be discussed. Samsung's Q2 financial earnings are in, and it's confirmed what a lot of people had long expected - that the Galaxy S9 wasn't exactly a great seller. There are also some tidbits hiding away about the company's incoming smartphone range beyond the Note 9.
The Galaxy S9's sales were described as 'slow' due to the fact there's been increased competition in an already tough premium smartphone market. Considering the phone was noted for its similarities to last year's Galaxy S8, it's not hugely surprising that consumers were a bit wary about upgrading. The company told TechRadar that the premium market was still a key 'battleground' for phone brands, which suggests the market share may have been pinched by a rival company.
Considering Huawei's UK market share rose dramatically earlier this year, it could well be that the cheaper handsets coming from up-and-coming companies have been eating into Samsung's customer base. You also have to remember that Apple continues to dominate, with some sort of iPhone often coming out as the best-selling handset in western markets.
The earnings call also featured information about the Note 9 and beyond, with Samsung claiming the upcoming phone would be released earlier than normal and would come with "exceptional performance for a reasonable price". What Samsung classifies as 'reasonable' isn't clear, though leaked adverts from Indonesia are offering the 128GB model for the equivalent of £714. While that's hardly cheap it's still significantly cheaper than the likes of the iPhone and even the Galaxy Note 8. Sadly it isn't clear whether the phone will be that cheap here in the UK, and past experience tells me that there's no way in hell of that happening.
But things really get interesting when the report gets to the future. We already know pretty much everything there is to know about the Galaxy Note 9, but there's still the matter of the Galaxy S10 and the folding Galaxy X to think about.
Samsung says it will be bringing "cutting-edge technology and new form factors" to future phones, and later goes on to discuss the growth of flexible OLED panels in a different section. That suggests Samsung is referring to the folding Galaxy X, which is rumoured to be arriving early on next year - especially given the references to "new growth drivers" in the foldable display market.
Samsung has been remarkably quiet about the folding phone, which seems prudent after so many years of rumour and speculation. It broke its silence earlier this year, promising a folding handset would come to market in late 2018, though this launch was apparently delayed to early 2019. There are plenty of problems to focus on with folding phones, but if Samsung has managed to get around them (it's already supposedly managed the battery limitation) we could be seeing it sooner rather than later. Assuming Huawei doesn't beat them to the punch with a folding phone of its own. [TechRadar]