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Galaxy S8 a “game-changer” that will return Samsung to leadership

Paul Withers
April 10, 2017

Analysts heap praise on new devices that will help reverse fortunes following Note7 controversy

Samsung will regain its leadership position from Apple with the Galaxy S8 smartphone, with the flagship product proving to be a “game-changer” for the manufacturer.

That is the resounding verdict of analysts who were in London on March 29 to see the wraps taken off the highly-anticipated smartphones.

Samsung was forced to recall 2.5 million of its Note7 handsets globally in October after several reports of batteries overheating and catching fire.

In Q4, Samsung’s shipments only declined by 5.2 per cent to 77.5 million units but this was trumped by its fierce rival Apple, which achieved sales of 78.3 million smartphones.

Last month at Mobile World Congress, Samsung UK and Ireland boss Conor Pierce told Mobile News he was confident it could topple its rival in the race for premium smartphone leadership this year.

Several leading analysts claim the Galaxy S8 will reverse Samsung’s fortunes this year and help it overhaul Apple and the success it has so far achieved with the iPhone 7.

Regaining leadership

IDC research director for European mobile devices Francisco Jeronimo claimed it was the “most exciting product from Samsung for many years”.

He highlighted the additions of voice assistant Bixby and smart home service Samsung Connect as crucial additions which will help it stand out from its competitors.

“The Galaxy S8 is the single most important device in Samsung’s history. The pressure to make it great again runs through every single word of this announcement.

“This is the most exciting product from Samsung for many years. The ‘Infinity Display’ makes the Galaxy S8 one of the most attractive devices ever designed.

“For the first time, Samsung is unifying its ecosystem in one single place. This is crucial to give customers a better understanding of the power of its global portfolio.

“This device can be a game- changer for Samsung. It can help
it regain its market leadership and to gain share from Apple in the premium segment. If the Galaxy S8 can’t reverse Samsung’s fortunes in this challenging market, then nothing will.”

‘Monumental fightback’

Canalys analyst Ben Stanton claimed the Galaxy S8 packs enough quality to see the manufacturer recover from the Note7 controversy, claiming it has “upped the ante” and leapfrogged Apple and Huawei in the design stakes.

“Samsung has thrown everything at this launch. We’ve seen a radical design, Bixby, developments with the Gear 360 and Gear VR, with the addition of Samsung DeX and Connect. This is a year’s worth of content packed into one launch.

“This will help it recover from the Note7 controversy and represents a monumental fightback.

“The S7 edge was a quality phone but the S8 has completely upped the ante. Not only is it head and shoulders above Apple, it has leapfrogged the likes of the Huawei P10 with its design, premium look and feel.”

CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood claimed the S8 “breaks design boundaries” that can enhance Samsung’s position.

“In a market where consumers are becoming numb to indistinguishable smartphone launches, Samsung has redefined expectations with the S8.

“It is arguably the most important launch of the last 10 years for Samsung and every aspect will be under the microscope following the Note7 recall.

“The S8 is unquestionably a strong product but Samsung must now deliver a faultless launch to move on from the difficulties of 2017. If this happens,it will emerge in an even stronger position.

Reversal of fortunes

GfK director of technology Imran Choudhary claimed the devices have met the high expectations of it, and bring into question Apple design leadership with its iPhones.

“These devices give Samsung the best chance of reversing their fortunes following on from the Note7. In years gone by, the latest iPhone was deemed to have the best design but Samsung’s latest devices certainly brings that into question.

“It sets up an interesting couple of months ahead until we see what arrives later in the year from the others.”

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