Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t debut next month – Note 7 to blame

In a surprise move, Samsung has announced that its next flagship smartphone won’t be unveiled next month.

It was generally expected that the Samsung Galaxy S8 would debut at MWC 2017 – Barcelona’s annual tech tradeshow – in late February, as was the case with the Galaxy S7. But Samsung’s mobile Chief Koh Dong-jin has confirmed to Reuters that this won’t be the case, citing new quality testing procedures as the reason for the delay.

It’s all part of Samsung’s efforts to resolve the exploding battery crisis that caused the company to recall (and eventually cull) the Galaxy Note 7 across the world last autumn. The global gaffe has led Samsung to introduce a new eight-point battery testing system to avoid similar problems going forward.

“The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process,” said Koh. “Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust.”

DJ Koh didn’t give an exact launch window for the Galaxy S8, but Reuters reports that analysts are now expecting an April debut. This delayed release could mean that rival manufacturers could get the scoop on Samsung – it’s likely that both LG and Sony will launch new handsets at MWC 2017, after all.

Still, Samsung will certainly be keen to avoid a repeat of the Note 7 debacle; the failure wiped an incredible $5.3 billion off the company’s operating profit. To its credit, Samsung now says that 96% of the Note 7 handsets in the wild – of which there were more than three million – have now been recovered. But some consumers may still be cautious about buying Samsung phones in future.

Related: LG G6

Watch: Samsung Galaxy S8 – What to expect

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