Tuesday 14 August 2018

Samsung's €1,279 phone a tough sell as operators refuse to stock device

A woman holds a new Samsung Note 9 smartphone during a product launch event at at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, yesterday Photo: Getty
A woman holds a new Samsung Note 9 smartphone during a product launch event at at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, yesterday Photo: Getty
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

It looks like we'd better get used to paying €1,000 for new phones.

That's the price (€1,029) Samsung has set for its Note 9 flagship model. And that's just the basic version. The premium model costs a whopping €1,279. The premium version has more memory and storage.

The Note 9 comes with a new, bigger, 6.4-inch screen and a 4,000mAh battery. But it looks like a tough sell to Irish consumers. Perhaps fearing no-one will pay the big price, mobile operators say they won't sell the premium version in the Irish market.

Are they right? After all, they all sell the €1,179 iPhone X. Is Samsung not a premium-enough brand? Maybe not.

The move by operators to skip the premium Note 9 model comes after Samsung suffered lower-than-expected sales of its current flagship model, the S9.

It shipped nine million models in Samsung's second quarter, a million lower than the previous three months. It is the first time in Samsung's history that it has seen such a decline.

The larger battery is the first time Samsung has tried out a bigger power unit after the fires and overheating that almost destroyed the Note series of smartphones.

Airlines have begun allowing Samsung Note phones back on board following the debacle two years ago. Samsung's €1,029 price for its lower-tier Note 9 signifies that premium devices look set to cost around €1,000 from now on. Apple's iPhone X currently costs €1,179 and is sold by Irish operators.

When Huawei launched the high-end P20 Pro, it cost more than €900.

Apple is set to launch its new range of iPhones at the start of September. The manufacturer is tipped to unveil three new iPhone devices, including one with a larger screen.

Irish Independent

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