While Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was always marketed as a competitor to Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, the fact remains that a number of other smartphone makers, especially from China, had tried to profit from the growing interest in phablets all through the year. Days before the launch of the Galaxy Note 7, Huawei launched the Honor Note 8 in China, a 6.6-inch phablet featuring a powerful Kirin 955 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a 4,400 mAh battery and internal storage options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. This way, Honor Note 8 offered double the storage compared to 64GB of the Galaxy Note 7 to Chinese users.
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At the same time, LG launched the V20, a significant upgrade over the V10 and a phablet that offered a number of features which made it superior to the Galaxy Note 7. Lenovo launched the Moto G4 Plus at a low price and needless to say, Apple waited till September to launch the iPhone 7 Plus, offering storage which no smartphone ever possessed.
To add to Samsung's woes, Google launched the Pixel XL, a 5.5-inch phablet featuring a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 821 processor, excellent cameras with 1.55micron pixels, zero shutter lag and HDR+ for clear and vivid pictures. up to 128GB of storage, the latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS, compatibility with Daydream VR and pre-installed Allo and Duo video calling and messaging apps.
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According to Reuters, analysts had expected Samsung to sell as many as 19 million Galaxy Note 7s, and whatever devices the company sold, it had to replace soon enough. Given that such a gaping hole now exists in the market and Samsung has no plans of re-launching the Galaxy Note 7, the likes of Huawei and Lenovo, who already have significant market share across the world, are surely licking their lips at the prospect of selling millions of phablets that Samsung couldn't.
However, the road ahead will not be as easy as it seems. Apple's iPhone 7 Plus has gotten off to a roller-coasting start thanks to its impressive looks, superior performance and dual cameras. To add to that, the Galaxy Note 7 disaster happened thanks to Samsung's haste in launching it and not testing the product well enough to render it glitch-proof. For other phone makers who are hoping to land a piece of the enormous pie, there are lessons to be learnt and the most important one is to ensure consumer safety and product quality over profitability.