Despite the eye-watering $1,299 street price of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, sales of the first 5G-capable variant of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series represented a third of all Galaxy Note 10 sales at Verizon in August, according to Cliff Maldonado, principal analyst and founder of BayStreet Research, a firm that tracks smartphone sales.
Verizon, which has a time-limited exclusive for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, started offering the phone on August 23 alongside the other Note 10 models. Verizon sold 40,000 units of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G in August, representing a third of all Note 10 sales, and outperforming sales of 5G-capable variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S10, as well as sales of 5G smartphones at Verizon and other carriers, including the LG V50 ThinQ.
SEE: Samsung Unpacked: Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Book S laptop and beyond (TechRepublic)
Part of the initial demand for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G was driven by limited supply of the non-5G models immediately after launch, according to Maldonado. Enthusiast and early adopter engagement for the 5G in the launch window can skew device sales over the lifetime of a device.
“We think it’ll do better in September,” as numbers for September will represent a full month, while the August numbers represent pre-order sales and nine days of retail availability, “That will be one of the high water marks. They will come down over time, but it will stay in that 30K range on a monthly basis until the end of the year,” Maldonado forecasted.
Demographics of Verizon’s subscriber base, and the user base of the Note line in general, influenced this result. “The Note buyer is price-insensitive and wants the latest and greatest technology. A 5G Note makes a lot of sense at Verizon,” Maldonado said, adding that this result is less likely at carriers such as T-Mobile, where consumers are more price-conscious.
Verizon is making the Note 10 Plus 5G available in markets where 5G mobile networks have yet to be deployed, though most of the sales are in 5G markets. The Verizon-branded model is not compatible with sub-6 GHz 5G networks, limiting the prospect of it serving as a “future proof” phone, as physical limitations of 5G will prompt Verizon to use existing spectrum allocations for Sub-6 GHz 5G services. Support for sub-6 GHz networks will be available on the Note 10 Plus 5G for AT&T and T-Mobile, according to CNET, with support reportedly provided by Qualcomm’s second-generation X55 modem. Sub-6 GHz networks will not be able to deliver the headline-making speeds, though will deliver more consistent coverage.
Verizon’s mmWave-powered 5G service, marketed as “Ultra Wideband (UWB),” launched in Chicagoand Minneapolis on April 3, 2019; in Denveron June 27, 2019; in Providence, RI on July 1, 2019; in St. Paul, MN on July 18, 2019; and in Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Washington, DC on July 31, 2019. The company also offers 5G in parts of 13 NFL stadiums across the US, though this availability is functionally limited to parts of the seating sections.
For more, check out “You can deploy Wi-Fi 6 now, but benefits of 5G could be years away for your organization” and “AT&T fastest mobile network in the US, but US only ranks 38th worldwide” on TechRepublic.