New York – Samsung unveiled two new smartphones to ramp up its efforts to win over consumers seeking large-screen handsets, and announced launch dates for its mobile payment service.
The moves are aimed at keeping the South Korean giant atop the global smartphone market and countering US rival Apple, which has made gains with its large-screen iPhone 6 and 6-Plus and its tap-to-pay feature.
At a New York media event, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S6 Edge+, the latest update for its flagship device, and Galaxy Note 5, its main device in the “phablet” market.
“Today the journey continues in the large-screen category that Samsung created,” said JK Shin, Samsung’s head of IT and mobile communications.
The S6 Edge+ and Note 5 each have a 14.4cm (5.7-inch) display, but the S6 has smaller overall dimensions and a curved “dual edge” screen which sets aside a portion of the display for contacts or other content.
The company also announced that its Samsung Pay service would roll out in South Korea on August 20 and in the US on September 28, and that it would launch in Britain, Spain and China with partners to be named in each market.
Shin said he expects wide adoption because Samsung Pay “doesn’t cause small business to upgrade their terminals and will be accepted almost everywhere on day one”.
Samsung said its mobile service can be used with magnetic stripe terminals as well as those using updated NFC or “near field communication” contactless payments employed by Apple Pay.
InJong Rhee, Samsung Electronics vice president, said that “NFC is fine technology but most stores don’t have it”.
He added that Samsung Pay will be secured by its Knox software which creates a one-time code without transmitting credit card numbers.
Samsung has remained atop the global smartphone market even though its sales have been slipping in the past year.
The Note 5 is the upgraded version of the phablet which Samsung is generally credited with popularising. The new device has a new pop-out pen stylus and shares its upgraded 16-megapixel camera with the S6 Edge+.
According to IDC, Samsung led the smartphone market in the second quarter with a 21.7% market share, even though sales dipped from a year earlier and its market share was below 24.8% in the same period a year ago.
Apple, which briefly took the lead in the fourth quarter of 2014 with its new iPhones, saw its market share rise more than two points from a year earlier to 14.1%, IDC said.