Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S8 is off to a great start. The Korean electronics giant started accepting pre-orders in its home country, along with the US and Canada on April 7th. Samsung received a record 550,000 pre-orders for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in the first two days, according to Korean publication Hankyung. Pre-orders will run until April 17th.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Galaxy S7
GerdRohsDesign / Pixabay

128GB Galaxy S8 Plus in the most demand

The two-day pre-order numbers have shattered all previous records by a huge margin. Last year, the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 had received 200,000 orders in the same period. The Note 7’s pre-order tally stood at nearly 400,000 at the end of two weeks. The Galaxy S8 has surpassed the Note 7’s two-week numbers in just two days.

The S8’s predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, had received 100,000 pre-orders in the first two days. It means the pre-order numbers for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are 5.5 times higher than the Galaxy S7 and 2.75 times higher than the Galaxy Note 7. According to Hankyung, the high-end 128GB Galaxy S8 Plus with 6GB RAM was the most popular version.

Factors driving the Galaxy S8 demand

The unexpected demise and recall of the Galaxy Note 7 left a large number of consumers waiting for the next-gen flagship. Samsung fans are nearly as loyal to the brand as iPhone users are to the Apple brand. A survey conducted by Reuters after the Note 7 disaster revealed that 91% Samsung users would stick to the brand when buying a new smartphone.

The Galaxy S8’s beautiful design and performance also attracted buyers in large numbers. The new phone has a bezel-less OLED display with no physical home button. It is the first Samsung phone in South Korea to pack 6GB RAM. Hankyung added that Samsung’ aggressive marketing campaigns also contributed to the record pre-orders. Samsung has set up 3,000 trial zones across the country where people can try out the phones.

Samsung has doubled Galaxy S8 inventory

The company will start shipping the phones to pre-order customers on April 18th. People who pre-order the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus would get their handsets three days before the official launch on April 21st. At the sidelines of the Unpacked event last month, Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh told media that the company had doubled the initial stock for the Galaxy S8 compared to the S7 to avoid the supply shortages. The Korean company had faced supply issues with the Galaxy S6 Edge a couple of years ago. Koh assured partners and customers there would be no supply issues with the Galaxy S8.

Citing various brokerage firms, Yonhap news agency says the Galaxy S8 sales would surpass 40 million units by the end of this year. In the best case scenario, Samsung could end up selling more than 60 million units in 2017. Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. forecasts shipments of 51 million units while Eugene Investment & Securities predicts the S8 sales to top 60 million units this year. Samsung’s financial arm Samsung Securities is a bit conservative. It expects 45 million S8 and S8 Plus units to be sold by the end of 2017.

Samsung to post record Q2 profits on the back of Galaxy S8

IBK Invest & Securities told investors last week that strong demand for the Galaxy S8 would help Samsung post record profits in the fiscal second quarter this year. Samsung’s best-ever quarter till date was Q3, 2013 when it recorded 10.1 trillion Korean won in profits following the success of the Galaxy S4. IBK Invest predicts the Galaxy S8 would help boost Samsung’s operating profits to 12.1 trillion won during the second quarter.

Samsung’s Q2 earnings would also get a boost from its semiconductor division and display business. Samsung Display is the sole supplier of OLED panels for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8. The iPhone maker has placed orders for a whopping 70 million OLED screens with Samsung Display for this year. However, the success of Galaxy S8 could hurt the iPhone 8 sales.

That’s because Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone will have the same OLED display as the Galaxy S8. The iPhone 8 is also rumored to look a lot like Samsung’s new smartphone. Just like S8, the next-gen iPhone would ditch the physical home button and opt for a bezel-less display.

Galaxy S8 has the best display ever

DisplayMate Technologies, known for its rigorous testing of smartphone displays, has found that the Galaxy S8 has the best display they have ever tested. DisplayMate notes the phone comes with several major state-of-the-art display performance enhancements, functions, and features. Its accurate color representation, high resolution, curved design, HDR support, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection set the Galaxy S8 display apart from rivals.

DisplayMate gave the Galaxy S8 an A+ grade, its highest ever for a smartphone display. Samsung has consistently been pushing the limits in display technologies. Since the iPhone 8 will use the same OLED display, its screen should be as good as that of the Galaxy S8.

Bixby to get a major upgrade in coming months

Samsung introduced its own AI assistant Bixby with the Galaxy S8. The smartphone has a dedicated button to launch the voice assistant. Samsung may have ambitious plans for Bixby, but it is still in its infancy. The assistant would speak only Korean and US English at the time of launch. If you want to repurpose the Bixby button to launch any other app of your choice such as Google Assistant, here’s how you can do it.

Samsung is expected to roll out a major update to enhance the capabilities of its voice assistant in the coming months. Bixby will be able to speak Chinese, Spanish, German, and British English by the end of this year.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus boast of a 12-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization and multi-frame processing. The phones have an 8MP front shooter. Available in five different colors, the phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. Models sold in countries other than the US come with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 8895 processor. Though Samsung has moved the fingerprint scanner to the back, it has enhanced security by adding facial recognition and iris scanner. Customers who pre-order the new phones can get the Samsung DeX for free. DeX is a docking station that lets you turn the Galaxy S8 into a computer by connecting it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.