Samsung omits Note 5 smartphone from UK launch event

Samsung prompted speculation that it won't launch its forthcoming Note 5 high-end smartphone in Europe after omitting the device from a launch event in London.

The South Korean vendor unveiled the Note 5 alongside the Galaxy S6 Edge+ at an event in New York, but failed to give any details of the former device at the UK launch.

However, the company confirmed the latter unit, a larger version of its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone, will be sold in Europe.

Daniel Gleeson, senior analyst at IHS Technology, said Samsung may have decided not to launch the Note 5 in Europe "to allow Samsung's regional marketing departments to focus on one product, given the significant difference in the propositions for the Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus".

However, he added that "this decision denies many countries from benefiting from Samsung's differentiated stylus-based flagship because the S6 Edge+ does not include one".

Gleeson added that Samsung may have omitted the Note 5 due to supply chain concerns, given the vendor has announced its new premium devices earlier than usual. "The accelerated timetable and earlier announcement has prevented Samsung from having the required levels of stock for a simultaneous global launch for both handset models. If this is true, then it negates part of the benefit of announcing early," he said.

Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said the company's latest smartphone aims to buck a trend of low smartphone sales growth with an innovative design. "We are continuing to push boundaries with our smartphone design, including curved glass and the most advanced LTE technology," he said at the London event, adding. "[W]e've been blown away by the response to the S6, and 42% of S6 Edge sales are due to the under 24 year old category."

Both phones have almost identical hardware, including a Samsung Exynos octa-core processor and the company's Shannon 333 modem. The devices also sport 5.7 inch HD displays.

Gleeson said the similarities in hardware do not rule out both devices coexisting in the same market, as they serve different niches. The Note 5 is an excellent device to market for "prosumers" and enterprise users due to its stylus and keyboard attachment, he said, while the S6 Edge+ is a much more fashion-forward device and is likely to appeal to a younger, hipper market than the Note 5.

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