Samsung touts 650k Note 8 pre-sales; 2.5x faster than Note 7 pre-orders

Another tidbit pertaining to Samsung’s incoming Note 8, with the company hoping its premium palm-stretcher phablet brand can rise phoenix like from the ashes of the Note 7 flaming battery debacle.

A lot is riding on the success of the Note 8, to see whether Samsung’s brand can rebound from a major product recall that risked putting a serious dent in its reputation as well as landing a hefty expense on its balance sheet.

The company has previously claimed it’s seeing faster than ever pre-sales for a Note device in the U.S.

Now its expanded that momentum claim, saying pre-orders for the premium phablet have hit the highest ever velocity for its Note series — and beat the Note 7 pre-orders by about 2.5x over five days, according to a Reuters report.

The company said pre-orders reached around 650,000 Note 8 handsets over five days across about 40 countries — an initial response Samsung’s mobile business president described as “very encouraging”, speaking at a press event in South Korea (where he also teased a possible foldable smartphone launch for the Note line next year).

The Note 8’s U.S. price-tag starts at around $930 — inflating the expense of top-of-the-range premium smartphones, even as Apple is on the cusp of outing its own new high end flagship, the iPhone X, which is slated to cost $1,000 or more.

TechCrunch’s Brian Heater judged Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 “a nice return to form for the series” in his TC review — while also noting that Samsung seems to be erring on the cautious side, avoiding bombarding the phablet with new features.

That feature restrain doesn’t appear to have put off Note loyalists, at least.

The phablet is due to start shipping this Friday, September 15 — which is also the day tipped for at least some of Apple’s new iPhone models to go on sale, even if the iPhone X is slated to be coming later than the other new handsets we’re expecting: the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Stay tuned to our liveblog for the official word from Cupertino as we get it.