New Samsungs 'can take on iPhone'
Samsung's new flagship smartphones - the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge - go on sale today and the firm's UK head of mobile says he believes they can challenge the iPhone 6.
Speaking to the Press Association, Conor Pierce said the Korean technology giant was now ready to respond to the record breaking sales of the iPhone 6 with their own new premium phones.
"I think it's well recognised that the S6 is the beginning of a new dawn or a new era for Samsung," he said. "We certainly have learnt from our successes looking back over the last few years, and it's inspiring to see what Samsung has delivered in the market. We've also learned from some of the challenges of recent launches."
Last year, Samsung's previous generation flagship Galaxy, the S5, was launched to mixed reviews while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped Apple break company sales records and post the largest quarterly profit ever by a company.
Samsung meanwhile saw year-on-year numbers fall for the first time in three years.
" Last year, we had challenges in certain market segments and the S6 will be very disruptive. But we can't rely on just the device, it's also how we engage with the market," Mr Pierce said.
The new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both have a stark design change from previous Samsung devices, with a fully metal frame for the first time; an on-trend premium feature also used by the likes of Apple and HTC on their flagship devices.
However, with the curved screen of the S6 edge, Mr Pierce believes that Samsung will stand out.
"It's uniquely different. That came about from a lot of intense focus on what the consumer wanted, and what most impresses me about Samsung is the fact that we can listen to people and react so quickly at the level of such a stunning device in such a short period," he said.
"And when we asked people what they wanted in a premium smartphone, overwhelmingly the response was beauty. They also want a better camera - and the S6 and S6 E dge has the most packed camera of all smartphones. It has the best display and brightest resolution and that's coming from our leadership in display technology.
"Because we're so addicted to our smartphones, batteries are always being challenged, so people definitely want a really high-performing battery and with the battery we have now - the fast charging and also the wireless charging - we are very confident that this will be a great experience for people."
This appears to already be the case with reports of strong pre-sales and Mr Pierce described the pre-order numbers for the devices as "overwhelmingly healthy".
This followed comments from the company's mobile chief JK Shin earlier this week that Samsung expects to ship record numbers of the phones and could in fact struggle to meet demand for the Edge version due to constraints on how the curved screen is manufactured.
"The premium market is such an important market from our perspective. Yes it will obviously be up against competition, and again we're offering something very unique in terms of design and innovation," Mr Pierce added.
"We're offering choice over price and we also have the Samsung ecosystem. So it's not just about having a beautiful smartphone but it's also with wearables and so on, I think we can offer a very strong proposition."
That proposition also includes Samsung Pay, the firm's own take on mobile payments, as well as wireless charging, which the firm believes has a pivotal future in technology.
"I think this is the future of smartphones going forward, and the fact that we offer the universal choice with two different modes. We want to get this technology to the mass market, we're not creating a niche method, we want it to be available to everyone," said Mr Pierce.
"We're so addicted to these devices that inevitably the battery will become compromised, so we've put a huge amount of effort into ensuring that we have the best battery - with super-fast charging, and you also have the option of having a wireless charger."