Can the Galaxy Note 10 and 5G overcome Samsung’s trade war and Fold woes?

Following Samsung’s less than stellar financials last month you may, justifiably, be wondering if the Galaxy-device maker’s time in the sun is coming to a close.

But according to industry experts the company may yet have a few tricks that could re-establish Samsung as the premier Android smartphone maker.

Doubts crept in last week when Samsung revealed its profits had dropped a whopping 60% in the first quarter of the year – an unprecedented turn of events given the company’s previous dominance in both the components and hardware markets.

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Despite the downward turn, Kantar director of consumer insight, Dominic Sunnebo, told Trusted Reviews the company’s mobile business could make gains towards the end of the year – thanks in part to a recent US executive order against key rival Huawei.

“Kantar estimates than in Q3, Huawei sales across the major 5 EU markets to be down as much as 2 million units, with Samsung set to gain more than half of these sales, driving a meaningful upturn in its Smartphone business,” he said.

He highlighted the hotly anticipated launch of Samsung’s fabled new phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, and the growing adoption of 5G networking technology as two key positives that could increase mobile sales.

“Q3 will see the release of Samsung’s latest version of its Premium Note series – this is well timed with the expanding rollout of 5G across global markets and is well position to lead in this fast growing market,” he said.

“The rollout of 5G gives consumers some tangible innovation and, if executed well, should start to drive a faster rate of upgrade.”

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The White House issued an executive order forcing numerous tech companies including Samsung, Google, Microsoft and ARM to diminish ties with Huawei in May.

IDC research manager Marta Pinto told Trusted Reviews, while 5G will help Samsung, the trade war will have an ongoing impact on its overall business.

“Samsung is in a very good position as not many manufacturers have the production capacity to fulfil the market demands in case of Huawei being stopped from using Google Android OS. But on the other hand, its component business can be hit by the same reason: not being able to supply Chinese manufacturers freely,” said Pinto.

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Pinto added the poor performance of Samsung’s first foldable, the Galaxy Fold, could also damage the company’s reputation as an innovator in the mobile space.

“[The] Galaxy Fold was never meant to be a mass market device, for its price and for the production capacity of such devices. Still it was a statement from Samsung saying it was a cutting edge innovation company,” said Pinto.

“This was of utmost importance during Mobile World Congress 2019, when Huawei also showed its strength with Mate X, a 5G enabled foldable display device. With Samsung device not reaching the market and with some negative promotion from beta testers, it played against the brand in an already difficult quarter.”

The Galaxy Fold was unveiled alongside the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10 5G at Samsung’s Unpacked event in February. It won early accolades but early review samples suffered from screen breaking issues, causing the company to delay a full consumer release.

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