Samsung’s new Galaxy Note takes on Huawei in selfie beauty pageant

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10, left, and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, won't have a headphone jack. The Galaxy Note 10 loses that, even though Samsung executives have long poked fun at rivals for ditching it. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Updated 08 August 2019

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note takes on Huawei in selfie beauty pageant

  • With emphasis on improved video and photography features, Samsung hopes the Note 10 will appeal to YouTubers and fans of social media
  • The Note 10 will be sold starting at $949.99 while the bigger Note 10 plus will start at $1,099

SEOUL/NEW YORK: Samsung unveiled a new version of the Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday with fast 5G network connection and improved camera features, hoping the premium model helps it revive slumping profit and widen the gap with struggling rival Huawei.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s trouble in the second quarter with a nearly 7% jump in smartphone sales, as the Chinese firm sold fewer phones in the global market after it was put on a US trade blacklist in May.
With emphasis on improved video and photography features, which helped Huawei become the world’s No.2 smartphone vendor, Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note 10 will appeal to YouTubers and fans of social media.
Along with its first foldable phone, the big-screen Note 10, unveiled at an event in New York on Wednesday, is the South Korean tech firm’s most important new product planned in the second half of this year to expand its mobile sales.
With two screen sizes of 6.3 inches and 6.8 inches, the Note 10 boasts enhanced video effects such as augmented reality and stabilization modes, and a front-facing camera centrally located at the top of the display for better selfies. It lacks a headphone jack, a tweak Apple Inc. made to its smartphones three years ago.
The Note 10 will be sold starting at $949.99 while the bigger Note 10 plus will start at $1,099. The Note 10 model with 5G capability will start at $1,299.99.
The phone will go on sale from Aug. 23 and square off against Apple’s latest iPhones, which are widely expected to come out later this year.
Samsung declined to disclose its sales target for the new Note series, but said it expected to achieve higher sales volume than the predecessor Note 9 models.
Analysts expect similar shipments of about 9.6 million units, with price likely to be the most important factor in a weak market. The global smartphone market shrank 3% in the June quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
“It is hard to expect strong sales for the new Note with just a few upgrades in its camera features,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.
Samsung is reeling from sagging profits in its mobile division due to weak sales of flagship models, even as it boosted overall shipments by 6.7% and stayed on top with market share of 22% in the second quarter.
Its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, is set to go on sale from September, but analysts say headlines about glitches with sample Folds will dampen consumer excitement around the launch.


G7 says Libra should not launch until risks ‘adequately addressed’

Updated 13 min 38 sec ago

G7 says Libra should not launch until risks ‘adequately addressed’

  • A currency like Libra could undermine sovereign nations’ control over their exchange rates, warns France’s economy minister
  • If it enters circulation, Libra would offer an alternative to traditional bank financial transfers

WASHINGTON: Facebook should not launch its global digital currency Libra until proper regulations are in place to handle the potential risks, the Group of Seven said Thursday.
And France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that a currency like Libra could undermine sovereign nations’ control over their exchange rates.
“It’s a matter of democracy, not just a simple economic question,” Le Maire told reporters, saying Facebook’s currency could have an “immediate global reach” through the social network’s huge membership.
Le Maire presented the Group of Seven nation’s statement on Libra, saying “no global stablecoin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks are adequately addressed,” including the potential for money laundering and terror financing.
But, he told reporters, “The key question is the question of sovereignty.”
“Do we want a private company to have... the same power, and the same sovereignty, as democratic states” over currencies.
Libra, which would be backed by reserve assets unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has faced a steady drumbeat of stern warnings from central bankers and financial regulators.
European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure presented a report on digital currencies to the G7 finance ministers, who are gathering on the margins of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
The report said a framework for oversight of Libra “is an absolute prerequisite,” and urged regulators to coordinate their work to prevent issuers from seeking out the most favorable country from which to operate.
If it enters circulation, Libra would offer an alternative to traditional bank financial transfers, a disruptive change that has aroused resistance and skepticism.
Facebook’s digital currency chief David Marcus told reporters in Washington that the issues raised by Le Maire are “legitimate concerns.”
“We’re determined to answer these concerns with real solutions that will meet or exceed the standards of the current system,” he told a small group of reporters at an event in Washington.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, was in Washington as well Thursday, and is due to testify before the US Congress next week on the social media network’s impact on financial services.
The Libra Association, which will oversee Facebook’s proposed currency and officially launched Monday in Geneva, also said in a statement that Libra “is being designed to respect national sovereignty over monetary policy in the digital space, not undermine it.”
But central bankers remain concerned about the prospects.
Lael Brainard, an influential member of the US Federal Reserve board, said Facebook’s proposed currency presented a host of risks and regulatory challenges for preventing money-laundering and assuring financial stability, and could be a challenge to the traditional role played by banks.
“There are likely to be financial stability risks for a stablecoin network with global reach,” she said in a speech Wednesday. “If not managed effectively, liquidity, credit, market, or operational risks — alone or in combination — could trigger a loss of confidence and a classic run.”
China, which is not a G7 member and decided two years ago to block cryptocurrency transactions, has recently sped up plans to introduce its own digital money.
Libra also has faced challenges from within after major financial and commercial players in recent weeks have backed out of the project, including Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, PayPal and the online travel firm Bookings Holdings.
The 21 founding members include the online payments company PayU, the telecoms firms Vodafone and Iliad, as well as tech outfits Uber, Spotify and Farfetch, blockchain operations such as Anchorage, Xapo and Coinbase and the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital and non-profits Kiva and Mercy Corps.