Samsung puts Note 7 fiasco behind to focus on S8
29 October 2016
Samsung had not yet been able to figure out the cause behind its Galaxy Note 7 phone batteries exploding, but that had not deterred the company from focusing on future phones. Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman and board member at Samsung, who is also the heir apparent, told the Wall Street Journal that next year's Galaxy S8 will come with a "slick design and an improved camera." It would also feature better artificial intelligence, Lee said.
According to commentators, though all that sounded right for a new phone, it would also probably mean a better processor, too.
Samsung acquired the creators of Siri, Viv Labs, earlier this year, so improvements in its voice assistant would, naturally be expected. Lee did not confirm to the WSJ whether Viv's technology would be included in the S8.
Commentators point out that, considering both Apple and Google marketed their assistants as a reason to buy their phones, it would not be surprising if Samsung tried to include AI into its larger pitch. But whether a better camera, AI, and design was enough to win back trust remained to be seen, they say.
Meanwhile, Samsung's recall of Note 7 had cost the company over $5 billion, and it was not clear whether the large amount of negative press would continue to hurt sales.
Samsung, however, managed to retain its global numero position in the third quarter, despite the troubles it faced, according to reports released Wednesday.
The number of phones shipped stood at 362.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2016, which was an increase of 1 per cent over the same period last year, according to research firm IDC. The estimates by Strategy Analytics were a little higher, at 375 million units shipped during the quarter - an increase of 6 per cent.
Both researchers, however, still placed Samsung on top of the market with a 20 per cent share, retreating from 23 per cent to 24 per cent. Apple enjoyed 12 per cent of the market, losing 5 percentage points, according to IDC, while, according to Strategy Analytics put the loss at 2 per cent.