Samsung will take the stage in its home country later this week to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 foldables. This marks the first time the summer Unpacked event is being held at home rather than in an international market. It’s also the first time the mid-summer Unpacked press conference will take place in July rather than August or September.
I thought the arrival of Google’s Pixel Fold might have scared Samsung into moving up the launch event. But what if Samsung is really looking to deal with the iPhone ticking time bomb at home by looking to launch the new foldables as soon as possible?
Until this year, Samsung has had virtually no competition in the foldables space since the first Galaxy Fold. Samsung could take its time to upgrade the Fold and Flip each year without delivering massive redesigns. But Chinese vendors started putting pressure on Samsung in previous years. And some of those devices launched in Europe and other international markets in early 2023.
The Google Pixel Fold is perhaps the biggest threat to Samsung’s dominant position in the industry despite some of its obvious faults.
Samsung is responding to these threats with the kind of big Fold and Flip design updates we’ve been waiting for. The Fold 5 will be slimmer than before, thanks to a no-gap hinge. The Flip 5 will feature a large external display occupying almost the entire surface of one of the phone’s halves.
Google Pixel Fold smartphone unfolded. Image source: Jonathan S. Geller, BGR On top of that, Samsung set its Unpacked press event for July 26th, the earliest date ever. As a reminder, this Unpacked event used to be the home of the Galaxy Note series. And it used to happen in early September before Samsung detached it from the German IFA tradeshow. The reason Samsung went to early August was the iPhone’s early September launch which would routinely obliterate Note sales.
All that is to say that Samsung might be worried about increased competition in the foldables space. But the iPhone might be the real reason it’s focusing on the Korean market.
The big iPhone problem
Samsung might want to make an impression on a specific category of smartphone buyers in its home market. Per The Korea Herald, a new Gallup survey shows that young adults in the country prefer the iPhone overwhelmingly to a Samsung phone.
The study indicates that Samsung is the main smartphone vendor in Korea, with 69% of adults owning a Galaxy phone. Only 23% of respondents have an iPhone.
But younger millennials and Gen Z like the iPhone increasingly more than Samsung phones. In the 30-39 age group, 41% of respondents have an iPhone. The percentage goes to 60% in the 18-29 group.
Samsung vs. iPhone market share in Korea for different age groups. Image source: Gallup Korea via The Korea Herald This is a major problem for Samsung. These young adults are growing with the iPhone and the entire ecosystem of apps and hardware. Switching from iPhone to Android becomes increasingly difficult the more you use the products.
As a longtime iPhone user, I can attest to that. I’ve been on iPhone and Mac for over a decade, and there’s nothing to make me switch to a different combo. And I was in the 18-29 group when I started using Apple for my main computing needs.
The young adults who bought iPhone over Samsung cited Apple’s premium branding as one of the reasons. They’d buy the iPhone even if the same storage device is more expensive than the Galaxy S equivalent. For example, the 128GB iPhone 14 costs 1,250,000 won in the country, or $980. The Galaxy S23 is 100,000 won ($78) cheaper.
Various Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 foldable phones. Image source: Samsung Apple Pay, which arrived in Korea earlier this year, is another factor that convinces young adults to buy iPhones.
The study also says that 85% of respondents say they are likely to stick with their current brand. That’s great for Samsung in the older groups. But if young adults stay with iPhone, we might be looking at decades of problems for Samsung. Especially if the teenage generation in Korea positions itself in favor of the iPhone. That wouldn’t be a surprise if their parents also use iPhones.
The unsung heroes in this survey are the older smartphone users who still have LG phones. LG is no longer making Android handsets, of course.
Samsung is apparently aware of the iPhone problem. The Herald says the Korean giant opened a flagship retail store in Gangnam last month, branding it a “playground for millennials and Gen Z.” The store is less than a kilometer away from Apple Gangnam store.
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The global smartphone market suffered its fifth consecutive quarterly decline, falling by 12% YoY in Q1 2023, according to a Canalys survey. That said, iPhone sales have grown year over year from 18% to 21% due to the solid demand for the iPhone 14 Pro series after supply constraints made the company sell fewer models during the last holiday quarter.
Another interesting piece of information regards Samsung, which was the only leading vendor to achieve a quarter-on-quarter recovery and struggled back to number one with a 22% market share. That said, the South Korean company still sold fewer phones than last year when it had 24% of the market share.
“The smartphone market’s decline in the first quarter of 2023 was within expectations throughout the industry,” said Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia. “The local macroeconomic conditions continued to hinder vendors’ investments and operations in several markets. Despite price cuts and heavy promotions from vendors, consumer demand remained sluggish, particularly in the low-end segment due to high inflation affecting consumer confidence and spending.”
While Canalys predicts the inventory of the smartphone industry can reach a relatively healthy level by the end of the second quarter of 2023, it’s still too early to predict the recovery of overall consumer demand.
Image source: Canalys Of all the top vendors, only Apple and OPPO had a YoY increase with their flagship phones during the first trimester. Samsung and Xiaomi had a decrease in market share, and Vivo retained its 8% from last year.
“The sell-in volume of the global smartphone market is expected to improve due to the reduction in inventories in the next few quarters. In addition, vendors have focused more on innovations and raising production and channel efficiencies after a round of fluctuations, shifting from growing for volumes and shares to growing for quality. 5G popularization and foldable phones are also becoming the new driving forces in the industry,” said Chaurasia.
For Apple, the company could be preparing for new highs with the iPhone 15 series. Without the fear of supply constraints for another quarter, the company is still selling iPhone 14 models while preparing a solid lineup of four new iPhone versions.
With a new design, better cameras, and processors, the Cupertino firm could see a new high during the holiday quarter later this year, which could also positively impact the first quarter of next year.
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Over the last year, BGR has highlighted differences between the Samsung Galaxy S23, Apple iPhone 14, and Google Pixel 7. In the latest analysis by SellCell, the company looked at depreciation data between these smartphone lineups since their launches.
While consumers need to know which new phone has the best camera, battery, or processor, eventually, they will plan to sell their old smartphone for a new model. But when the time comes, which smartphone holds the best value?
Like previous reports, the iPhone 14 retains the most value, while Samsung’s S23 lineup averages 40% lower resale prices, and Google Pixel 7 models are 48% weaker than the iPhone 14 prices. That said, the latest iPhone model is worth 5.7% less than the iPhone 13 after six months, with the 14-series depreciating by 31.5% while the 13-series was at 25.8% in the same timeframe.
For Galaxy S23 owners, the worst phone to be sold is the Ultra with 1TB. It lost 55.6% of its value in the two months since its launch. On the other hand, the best Galaxy S23 is the Plus model with 256GB. It regained some of its lost value, and it’s worth 36.4% less after two months of its launch.
Image source: sellcell One of the sellcell charts shows that the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 128GB version held the best value after two months of its launch, losing 13.6% of its total price. It’s followed by the base-model iPhone 14 with 29% of depreciation, its Plus version, and then the regular Pro model.
The Galaxy S23 Plus with 256GB appears next, followed by the Pixel 7 Pro. The phone with the most depreciation was the Pixel 7 with 128GB, which lost 44.7% in two months.
The full report can be found here. It highlights the different storage options between the Galaxy S23, iPhone 14, and Pixel 7 lineups and which could be better for you to buy or resell.
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By Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Electronics has been recognized as a leader in the global soundbar market, according to the market research firm, FutureSource Consulting. A newly released report published on February 28 notes that Samsung topped the soundbar market for the ninth year in a row, commanding 20.2% in market share and accounting for 18.4% of the industry sales volume in 2022.
Samsung soundbars, including the premium Q-series lineup, are expertly crafted and fine-tuned for powerful and immersive sound quality, enhanced compatibility with TVs, and sleek and modern design. Features such as SpaceFit Sound have been praised by customers and reviewers for calibrating sounds to fit the acoustic properties of each space for tailor-made sound experiences.
In fact, Samsung soundbars have impressed industry experts and reviewers, with outlets such as AVForums selecting the HW-Q990B as the “Best in Class” Award winner for 2022 and Newsweek commenting that the HW-S800B “delivers impressive room-filling sound” in such a compact form.
This year Samsung is taking its soundbar lineup to the next level with captivating cinematic sounds and premium audio features to win the hearts of consumers and home theater enthusiasts.
Samsung’s HW-Q990C is a flagship Q-series soundbar with an impressive 11.1.4-channel setup and Dolby Atmos audio. It comes with the latest Q-Symphony 3.0 feature, which analyzes and processes voice channels and audio elements to deliver perfectly synchronized audio using every speaker in both the TV and the soundbar. It also comes with SpaceFit Sound Pro, which calibrates sounds to match the acoustic properties of each space, and Game Mode Pro, which optimizes sounds by game genres for added realism when played through Samsung Gaming Hub.
“Samsung is committed to providing our customers with an industry-leading home entertainment experience that meets the evolving needs of our customers,” said Cheolgi Kim, EVP of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung soundbars are the perfect immersive match for Samsung TVs, exemplifying the pinnacle of cinematic sound with smart audio features and enhanced connectivity.”
According to Futuresource, the global soundbar market, which has been showing steady growth of about 5.7% over the past three years, recorded 23.16 million units in sales in 2022 and is expected to reach 26 million in sales by 2025.
For more information, please visit https://www.samsung.com.
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In its latest attempt to lure iPhone users into switching to the Galaxy side, Samsung wants Apple users to try out the new Galaxy S23 series right from their iPhones. According to 9to5Google, Samsung created a Try Galaxy website where iPhone owners can install a web app that transforms iOS into Samsung’s OneUI Android personalization.
The publication notes that this is really specific for iPhone users, as if you try the website on a Pixel phone, it simply won’t work.
With the Try Galaxy experience, you can navigate into Samsung’s OneUI interface and stock apps, such as Google Messages, which doesn’t use RCS but shows SMS/MMS texts, Gallery, Samsung Health, and even the Camera.
And when you click on the Camera, you’re prompted with several videos and tutorials highlighting the benefits of Samsung cameras. Interestingly enough, if you tap the Galaxy Themes app, you can fully customize your iPhone-Galaxy interface.
Image source: José Adorno for BGR Users can have a glimpse of the Galaxy Store, Game Launcher, Google Meets, Samsung Kids, and more. An annoying feature of this website is the several message notifications you get in exchange for insights about the Galaxy S23. Even the tiny things, such as the notification sounds, remind me why I prefer sticking with the iPhone.
That said, even if this experience isn’t enough to make you switch from an iPhone to the Galaxy S23 (or the Z Fold or Z Flip options), at least you get to understand what you’re missing out – or not – from an Android phone while testing this theme right from your iPhone.
For me, I’m already too attached to the Apple ecosystem to make the transition from the iPhone, AirPods, Mac, iPad, and its services to Samsung and Google. But if you want to give it a try, you can check the Try Galaxy here.
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