South Korea: Samsung releases the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. Prices.
Samsung Electronics Co. rolled out its new phablets in South Korea Thursday, the latest effort by the world's top smartphone maker to rev up its sluggish smartphone business.
The Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ were first showcased in New York last week. The cross between a smartphone and a tablet will arrive in the North American market Friday, and in China, Japan and other major countries on Aug. 28.
The factory price of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ stands at 939,400 won (US$795.-) , while that of the Galaxy Note 5 is set at 899,800 won (US$754.-)
Samsung's release of the new devices could help in its struggles against increased competition from Apple Inc. and Chinese rivals.
Samsung has been facing hurdles in its mobile business, with its earnings being dented by the rise of Chinese firms and Apple's iPhone devices.
The operating profit of its mobile business, one of the company's main revenue sources, fell 37.5 percent on-year to 2.76 trillion won in the second quarter.
The two phablets boast a super active mode organic light-emitting diode (SAMOLED) QHD 5.7-inch display, the same display size as the Galaxy Note 4.
They also have two high-performance cameras -- one that is 16 megapixels, the other 5 megapixels -- along with a 64-bit octa-core processor and 4GB RAM. The phablet is available in four colors: white, black, gold and silver.
Samsung has also improved the phablets' connectivity with other smart devices, allowing them to receive messages and other alerts through tablet PCs and laptops, even including those working on Apple platforms.
Samsung also said its first mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, is now available in South Korea.
The service is available for not only the two phablets but also its two flagship models -- the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge -- which were released earlier.
The Samsung Pay service supports not only the near field communication (NFC) technology like its rivals but also magnetic secure transmission (MST) and bar code technologies.
The MST technology is significant as it is compatible with conventional credit card devices, and therefore, it can be used in a larger number of shops compared with Apple Pay. Samsung's progress was made possible by buying U.S. mobile technology firm LoopPay Inc., which has patent rights related to MST.
Industry watchers said Samsung Pay is set to take the lead in the global mobile payment market, as Google Inc.'s upcoming payment service will also not support MST.
The pilot run in the U.S. will begin on Aug. 25, and its official release there is planned for September.