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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2395

Release of Samsung Galaxy S8: Will Samsung make it a game changer?

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

After a flurry of rumours, leaks and guesses that have been running for months, Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be released on Wednesday, according to Samsung, the tech giant, while stirring up the excitement of millions of its fans, most, if not all, may have had a bruising experience last year, if they bought the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7

Samsung suffered a double whammy of the arrest of its Group Chief, Jay Y Lee, having been under the spotlight for months over a corruption scandal and the exploding Galaxy Note 7 disaster last year. It lost billions of dollars due to the latter, which left a significant dent on its global reputation; the poor PR handling made things worse for Samsung, when the problem could have been nipped in the bud with an honest admission and timely product recall.

In this context, Samsung may have used all the resources at its disposal to get this big event right for obvious reasons. Since all major phone manufactures are focussing on improving the usual features such as the screen resolution, display size of the phone, the features of the phone and the size of memory, Samsung may introduce something unique in order to stay way ahead of the pack.

The speculation was rife that Samsung may introduce a versatile AI – artificial intelligence – assistant to rival the existing ones – Apple’s Siri, Google’s OK Google and Windows Cortana. Samsung confirmed that it was the case recently by naming the AI assistant, Bixby; whether Bixby is going to outsmart its peers, remains to be seen, though.

Samsung phones became a serious rival to Apple’s iPhone while using Google’s Android operating system. Since over 80% of global mobile phones are using Android phones, the place of Samsung among the very users is secure despite the Note 7 debacle. Things, however, changed last year.

With the sleek, eye-catching designs and cutting-edge technologies to match them, Samsung has been winning the hearts and minds of Android phone users for years. During the Note 7 calamity, most users opted for Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, when they needed a new phone, in spite of a looming uncertainty over the next smartphone by Samsung.

When my iPhone 6 stopped functioning, I turned to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, while bringing my loyalty to Apple to an abrupt end. The combination of its gorgeous appearance with curved display and amazing camera doesn’t let me contemplate on an alternative at present. If Galaxy S8 goes beyond the usual, evolutionary changes, millions of users in my position will be attracted to the new product in the offing.

Samsung made a monumental mistake by expediting the launch of Note 7, perhaps, to take on Apple iPhone 7, when Apple’s flagship product saw its sales falling for two successive quarters. It didn’t work; nor did it hurt Apple.

This time around, Samsung appeared to have learned the lesson; there is no rush on Samsung’s part to release the new phone. It took time, may have done the homework properly and placed the necessary mechanism in place not to make the same blunder this year again.

If Samsung comes up with a revolutionary change, mobile phone users will forgive the company for the infamous mistake and start flocking towards the star product in no time.

- Asian Tribune -

Release of Samsung Galaxy S8: Will Samsung make it a game changer?
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