Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 7 in bid to remain the dominant Android handset vendor

Samsung is hoping to maintain its impressive momentum in a challenging smartphone market with the upcoming release of the Galaxy Note 7.

As expected, the South Korean vendor unveiled the latest version of its oversized device today during a media event. And as expected, the gadget packs some compelling features, combining a water-resistant body and stylus with Samsung's Knox security features and a curved, 5.7-inch screen.

"The Note 7 demonstrates Samsung's desire to be a technology leader in smartphones," IHS Technology analysts wrote. "IHS expects the Note 7 to act as a premium showcase which will improve Samsung margins, define how Samsung's strategy differs from Apple and Huawei, and increase the appeal of Samsung's brand. The halo effect will boost volumes for cheaper models in Samsung's range."

Indeed, the manufacturer already appears to be enjoying something of a trickle-down effect from the success of its Galaxy S7 Edge. The Galaxy S7 Edge was the top-selling Android phone in the world during the first half of 2016, according to fresh data from Strategy Analytics. And the South Korean vendor had a couple of other hits as well.

Samsung actually made the three best-selling Android phones during the first six months of the year: The S7 Edge shipped 13.3 million units, the Galaxy J2 shipped 13 million units, and 11.8 million Galaxy S7 handsets were shipped.

The three models collectively claimed 6.6 percent of all worldwide Android phone shipments during the period. Overall Android phone shipments grew 5 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2016, Strategy Analytics said, while iPhone shipments fell 16 percent. A total of 577.3 million Android phones shipped during the period; Apple saw only 91.6 million iPhone shipments.

"Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge is currently the world's most popular Android smartphone," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, in a press release. "The S7 Edge is wildly popular in dozens of countries globally, due to its attractive curved hardware design blended with a sidebar of apps that consumers find easy to use."

And it isn't just Samsung's design and user interface acumen that is paving the way for success. The company enjoyed strong support from major U.S. carriers with the launch earlier this year of multiple buy-one, get-one-free deals for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The Galaxy Note 7 will also be offered by all four major U.S. operators, and some are already touting promotional deals for the upcoming phone.

For more:
- see Samsung's announcement
- read Strategy Analytics' press release

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