After the Galaxy Note 7 disaster that is estimated to cost Samsung billions of dollars, the Korean company is being extra careful with its upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S8. So much so that it is desperately trying to stop the flow of leaks about its next-gen handset. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be unveiled on February 26 in Barcelona, a day before the Mobile World Congress begins.
Samsung asks employees, suppliers to be extra vigilant
Sources familiar with the matter told the Korea Herald that Samsung has urged its employees and supply chain partners to be extra cautious of potential leaks of confidential information. In an email sent to all its employees, Samsung emphasized that leaks of operational secrets can “cause irreversible ramifications, posing a great financial risk on the company.” The email urged the company employees to be extra vigilant.
The electronics giant has also asked its suppliers to prevent potential leaks. A component supplier told the Korea Herald that Samsung had asked suppliers “not to mention a single word on the Galaxy S8.” If the company is asking all employees and suppliers to be extra vigilant, it must be taking a much harder line with those directly involved in the development of Galaxy S8.
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With hundreds of suppliers and hundreds of thousands of employees, it would be extremely difficult for Samsung to prevent the flow of leaks. There are way too many variables to control. As reports point out, leaks could prove to be a good thing for manufacturers as they build excitement and awareness of the upcoming devices. Anyway, industry experts believe that Samsung is now on high alert.
The call for caution over potential leaks comes in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 crisis, which has tarnished Samsung’s reputation and affected its profits.
Galaxy S8 to be Samsung’s only premium smartphone in 2017
In another report, the Korea Herald said that Samsung was planning to release only one flagship smartphone in 2017. It means the company would effectively kill the Galaxy Note line. Experts have also suggested that if Samsung launches a successor to the Note 7, consumers will quickly associate it with overheating and battery explosions.
Until now, Samsung used to launch two flagship devices a year – Galaxy S in the first half of the year and Galaxy Note in the second half. It’s a tight release schedule, which puts a lot of pressure on all stakeholders. Even Apple releases just one flagship model a year. Sources told the Korea Herald that Samsung would refocus its strategy around a single premium model to rebuilt its reputation.
Rumors suggest that Samsung will release two versions of Galaxy S8 – one with a 5.5-inch display and another with a 5.1-inch screen – early next year. The upcoming device will focus heavily on virtual reality. A few days ago, Samsung started mass production of chips using 10nm FinFET process that consumes 40% less battery and offers 27% performance boost over 14nm chips. The new chip is rumored to be used in the Galaxy S8.