Uh-oh, Apple’s In Trouble – Samsung Releases Note 4, Note Edge & Virtual Reality Gear

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Sep 04 2014
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Apple stock saw its worst day in 7-months – tumbled US$4.36 (or 4.2%) to US$98.94 a share after Wednesday closing bell. In case this does not raise your eyebrow, that’s the biggest dollar decline by Apple since it lost $6.19 (or 8%) to $71.17 on a split-adjusted basis on 28 January, 2014. This latest drop also means the most valuable U.S. company has just lost a whopping US$26.1 billion (£15.8 billion; RM83 billion) in market capitalization.

Apple Stock Chart - Year to Date - 3Sept2014

And how crucial is US$26.1 billion to the U.S. stock market? How about an equivalent of 2.97 points off from the S&P 500? Well, if that was not enough to spook investors who still hold Apple shares, wait till next week when the company is expected to reveal its iPhone 6 and smartwatch. Actually, Apple “MUST” release two iPhone 6s – 4.7-inch “AND” 5.5-inch “AND” gorgeous iWatch – if it doesn’t want its stock to fall to as low as US$80 a share.


The stake is so high that Tim Cook and his team have very little room for error. With its share up 23% this year and at all-time high of US$103.30 on Tuesday before Wednesday’s drop, the stock could just go – KaBOOM – if the company under-deliver next week. Wednesday could be the start of the stock going bonkers with traders sell like mad next week, blaming everything in the sky; yes, even the iCloud because of the leaked of nude photos.

Samsung Galaxy 4 and Note Edge

Of course, the primary reason is Samsung. After released its can’t-really-remember-which-version Samsung Gear S wristwatch last week, the Korean company releases three more gadgets today – Galaxy Note 4, Gear VR Innovator Edition and (surprisingly) Galaxy Note Edge. It seems Samsung has also gone bonkers due to declining sales due to canibalizing from China’s Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo.


{ 1 } Galaxy Note 4


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - normal view

First, let’s look at Galaxy Note 4. Finally, Samsung has come to its senses to stop making bigger phablets. For once, we thought the company could be crazy enough to make Galaxy Note phablet as huge as TV screen (*tongue-in-cheek*). Previously, we had written how Samsung’s smartphone market share dropped to merely 25.2% from 32.3% just a year ago in 2013. So, in their rush to release new products, Note 4 is rather a letdown.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors Shipment and Market Share - 2Q 2013Top Five Smartphone Vendors Shipment and Market Share - 2Q 2014

Since its first version of Galaxy Note release in 2011, Samsung is still leading in the phablets market. The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display with a pixel resolution of 2560 x 1440. It has a pixel density of over 500-ppi matching up to that of the LG G3. It’s the first Galaxy Note handset to come with a metal frame and a 2.5D glass front and removable faux leather rear cover.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - normal view - zoom in

The 2.5D glass front is Samsung’s own slightly bevelled front panel, the edges and corners come out from the phone to give the impression the screen is floating. There’re two models of Note 4 though – one using Samsung’s own Exynos 5433 octa-core CPU (four cores running at 1.9GHz and another four at 1.3GHz.); and another comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core chip clocked at 2.7GHz.


Running on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI over the top, both versions of the Note 4 come with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage as standard. There’s also microSD card support. As expected the rear camera was bumped up to 16-megapixel, just like Galaxy S5, while the front camera has a 3.7-megapixel. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and 8x digital zoom are thrown in also. You can now take 4K video too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - side view

To those who complain about the stylus sensitivity, the new S Pen now has sensitivity of 2048 levels, doubles than Note 3. Unlike Note 3 which came with USB 3.0 port, Samsung has revert back to slower USB 2.0 because not many were using the higher speed USB 3.0. Note 4 also comes with fast-charging charger – up to 30% faster, at least that was what Samsung claims. The battery juice remains almost the same as Note 3 – slightly up at 3200mAh.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - wide screen view

Available in Charcoal Black, Frost White, Blossom Pink, and Bronze Gold, this latest Note 4 is expected to hit worldwide market in October. Although the exact price is still unavailable, going by its historical pricing, it should be around US$300 on contract or US$750 without contract. So, if you’re looking for a sharper 5.7-inch phablet, get this gadget. Otherwise, the old Note 3 which is expected to be on fire sale could be a nice option. Besides, Note 4 is “not” water-resistant, so why bother.



{ 2 }  Galaxy Note Edge


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - Close Up

Next, let’s explore the unexpected new kid on the block – Galaxy Note Edge. We’re not sure why this new gadget is being introduced. Perhaps Samsung worries their new Note 4 could receive the same fate as Galaxy S5 and flop badly. So they release Note Edge as an insurance to arrest the declining smartphone market. Or perhaps this is actually their future gadget (modified from prototype Youm device) which they brought forward to recreate the “wow” factor.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - bent in view

After being branded and accused of copycatting (of course the biggest copycat is still Xiaomi – *grin*) Apple iPhone for ages, Galaxy Note Edge could be the only distinct innovative design from Samsung. The first-of-its-kind display that wraps around the phone’s right side (why not left side?), thus enables the side panels to be used for instant access to popular or frequently-used functions such as camera, facebook, email, phone, browser and whatnot is simply genius.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - with stylus

It’s true that users often don’t know what they want until they see it, and Samsung’s gamble on Note Edge could pay handsomely, or flop painfully. Still, it’s a great idea to move all those obstructive icons aside to the windows-taskbar-lookalike, and free up acres of screen space. At 5.6-inch, Note Edge is 3.8-mm wider and 2.2-mm shorter than the Note 4 and powered by Snapdragon 805 processor, but who notice such difference, right?

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - front and rear view

Note Edge features a QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels – same as Note 4. Okay, let’s get real, Note Edge is essentially another Note 4 wannabe with “bent display” to differentiate itself. It even comes with (*drum please*) the same Samsung’s S Pen stylus (*yawn*). So, if you’ve serious fatigue problem due to Note 3 crazy size, go and get iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch instead.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - with stylus 2

For now, the only reason to buy Note Edge is if you don’t already have Note 3 or simply want to show off the new type of form factor design. That’s because Samsung will surely charge this guy a premium, all because of the curve-in design. It isn’t as convenient to left-handed as to right-handed users. But you still can flip the phone and use it upside-down.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - task-bar-like showing timeSamsung Galaxy Note Edge - Close Up - 2


{ 3 }  Gear VR Innovator Edition


And finally, the nice-to-have virtual reality gadget. Basically, this gear is a nylon head strap that allows you to mount the new Galaxy Note in front of your eyes, allowing you to use the device for gaming or watching movies. The software for the virtual reality headset will be powered by Oculus VR, the same Irvine, California-based virtual reality company that Facebook Inc. acquired earlier this year for a cool $2 billion.

Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition

Here’s the catch, to use this virtual reality gadget, you need the Note 4, a smart marketing trick to force you to buy the combo set – Gear VR and Note 4. But at US$200 a piece, consumers who are now alreadying owning Note 3 might just get both Note 4 and the Gear VR during this coming holiday shopping next month. With Note 4, Note Edge, Gear VR and last week released Gear S smartwatch, Apple is obviously under tremendous pressure to deliver.


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Looks like it was Samsung that should have been worried. Nice try though

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