Samsung announced that pre-orders for its Galaxy Note 8 premium smartphone have hit a record high for the Note series, beating its predecessor over the course of five days by about 2.5 times.
According to news from Reuters, Note 8 pre-orders from around 40 countries reached about 650,000 over five days, which was called “very encouraging” by DJ Koh, president of Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications business, at a media event.
After losing billions when the Note 7 had to be pulled from the market after battery fires, Samsung is relying on the Galaxy 8 to help it compete with rival Apple, who just unveiled its two new smartphones. Earlier this year, Samsung revealed that a combination of rushed manufacturing and bad batteries resulted in the Note 7's ongoing problems.
The Note 8’s U.S. price is set between $930 to $960, which includes dialing and data plans. It goes on sale Friday.
Samsung is also hoping that the Note 8 release will revive its status in China, which is the world’s biggest smartphone market. Local companies like Huawei Technologies, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi have overtaken Samsung’s market share, which fell to 3 percent from April to June. Koh noted it would take time to recover in China, but changes have been made that will help the process, such as appointing a new mobile chief. Despite the bad press from the Note 7, Samsung decided to keep the Note brand after a survey showed 85 percent of 5,000 Galaxy Note users expressed brand loyalty.
Koh also said that Samsung hopes to launch a foldable handset next year, if they can overcome technological hurdles.
“We are digging thoroughly into several issues we must overcome, as we don’t want to just make a few, sell a few and be done,” he said. “We want to hear that Samsung made a very good product.”