Note 5, Edge 6 Plus, and Samsung Pay launch in South Korea

Samsung began sales of its Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Edge 6 Plus phablets in South Korea, while its mobile wallet service Samsung Pay went live.

For Samsung, much is riding on two new phones as the company suffers five consecutive quarterly declines in profit and continues to get squeezed by cheap Chinese gadget makers in the low-end, and Apple in the high-end.

The South Korean tech giant set the price much lower for the Note 5 and Edge 6 Plus, unveiled last week in New York, than previous iterations in the Note series.

The Note 5 will cost 899,800 won ($762.15) based on the 32 GB model. The first Note launched in 2011 with a price tag of 957,000 won, with the Note 2 and Note 3 that followed 1.089 million won and 1.067 million won respectively. The Note 4 was priced at 957,000 won.

The S6 Edge Plus' price is set at 939,400 won--even cheaper than its smaller sibling, the S6 Edge, which was initially priced at 979,000 won when it was launched in April.

"The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, compared with the Galaxy S6 series, have larger displays and upgraded specs, but the price has been set similarly," said Park Young-joo, an analyst at Hyundai Securities. "It is a strategy to increase specs and lower price amid an intensifying competitive market, so profitability is bound to get lower."

The latest phablets have a 5.7-inch screen compared to the S6's 5.1 inches, while RAM was also boosted to 4GB from 3GB, which means more money spent on production cost.

Samsung is reportedly lowering prices in US and China as well.

Aggressive Samsung Pay launch

After a month-long beta test, Samsung Pay went live on August 20. Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus owners in South Korea will be able to use the service right off the bat. S6 and S6 Edge owners can use it after a software update.

Apple Pay is yet to arrive in South Korea, which will allow Samsung to gain an early foothold in mobile payment in its home country.

The United States will have the service on September 28, followed by the UK, Spain, and China.

Samsung Pay works in more types of terminals over its rivals thanks to a tech called Magnetics Secure Transmission that works with magnetic-stripe terminals, as well as Near Field Communication terminals

In South Korea, this is a huge advantage, as NFC is not widely deployed as it is in Europe.

Consumers can just swipe Samsung Pay out from the bottom of their screens for use, even when it is turned off.

Source: ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)