Pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 8 premium phone have hit the highest ever record for the Note series, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd claimed on Tuesday. The announcement follows the controversy surrounding the South Korean firm’s earlier model Note 7, whose battery fires forced Samsung to pull it from the market.

The company is banking on its newest device to secure market dominance and compete with Apple Inc’s latest iPhones which will be unveiled later on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The sale of the Note 8 begins in several countries on September 15.

Pre-orders for Note 8 handsets reached 6,50,000 over five days from 40 countries, making the initial response “very encouraging,” DJ Koh, president of Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications business, said at a media event.

The Galaxy Note 8 can survive at a depth of up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. The phone will have three storage variants – 64 GB (available only in the US), 28 GB and 256 GB. The phone can accept MicroSD cards of up to 256 GB. The Note 8 has a 6.3-inch wide infinity display and two 12-megapixel cameras.

The Apple launch

The Note 8’s US price of $930 to $960 (around Rs 61,000), including dialling and data plans, begins an era of premium-priced handsets which analysts expect to be joined by $1,000-plus iPhones.

Apple is expected to unveil a special edition iPhone commemorating 10 years of the handset, which will also be equipped with edge-to-edge screen and augmented reality. The iPhone will compete with the Note 8 for pre-holiday season sales in Western markets.