Samsung is coming off another ugly (by its standards) financial quarter, and is now banking on the impending release date of the Galaxy Note 4 to provide some degree of salvation. One problem with that strategy: the Note has always taken a backseat to the smaller Galaxy S in terms of overall sales. Another problem: while the Note has long been regarded as the only five and a half inch phablet on the market by certain types of consumers, now it has to fend off the iPhone 6 Plus.
In reality the Galaxy Note 4 is far from the only phone of its size on the market. But in a tech landscape where most make their buying decisions from among the products they see advertised, the Note is the only such phablet on their radar. Now here comes the iPhone 6 Plus from Apple, the other phone vendor with the marketing and messaging clout to reach the least knowledgeable corners of the mainstream.
So now Samsung must bank on the Galaxy Note 4 release date boosting the bottom line even as the Note faces its first wide-scale competitor. The ideal move for Samsung would be to deliver a successor to the Galaxy S5 right now; even though the phone has only been on the market for half a year, it had already fallen behind the iPhone 5S by a sizable margin in terms of worldwide sales before the iPhone 6 arrived and has now ostensibly fallen even further into a distant second.
But such a move may not be realistic from a manufacturing standpoint, and could be written off as a desperation ploy by the tech press. So instead Samsung is likely stuck with its slowly sinking Galaxy S flagship phone until next spring. And with the company coming off its fourth consecutive quarter of shrinking profits, the Galaxy Note 4 may be the best defense against the iPhone it can muster for now. Fortunately for Samsung, its release date is this month.