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Samsung Galaxy S8 officially launches

Posted April. 22, 2017 07:02,   

Updated April. 22, 2017 07:07


Samsung Electronics flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone was officially launched in three nations – Korea, the U.S., and Canada – on Friday. All eyes are on the electronic giant’s new flagship phone, as it is breaking every smartphone records in Korea with flying colors such as “1 million pre-sales” and “260,000 units sold on the first day of service.” Many wonder as to whether the new model will maintain its momentum and lead to record-breaking sales volume.

Around 400,000 units of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus were registered from Tuesday to Friday. The window was open as a pre-activation for those who reserved for an early shipment. The pre-sales amounted to nearly 40 percent of the total sale by subscription at 1,004,000 units.

This is the first time for Samsung Electronics to ship and activate pre-ordered volumes to pre-subscribers before the official launching date. While its preceding model Galaxy S7 was offered seven days earlier, users could not activate until it was finally released. Indeed, the early activation came as a “neat trick” to reduce customer defection amid a month-delayed release due to the reported explosion of its Galaxy Note 7 last year.

Samsung changed its stance from churning out new models on the same date in at least dozens of nations on the first day of release. The Galaxy S6 was launched in 20 nations simultaneously in 2015, and the Galaxy S7 released in 45 nations on the same day in 2016. Once pre-launched exclusively in Korea in 2014, the Galaxy S5 was also released all at once in 125 nations worldwide. Releasing dates of phones are discussed and decided by communication carriers and manufacturers of each nation. Samsung expects to see its new models displayed on approximately 50 markets in Europe and Southeast Asian countries on April 28, and around 120 other global markets by May 5.

Industry experts forecast that the Galaxy S8 will become a “historical blockbuster” and easily beat its predecessor Galaxy S7, which sold nearly 50 million units a year. Some analyze sales of the new flagship phone to exceed 60 million units a year. Still, the new model has yet to be authorized by global consumers, and is yet to overcome criticisms such as its unstable Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant “Bixby” and the “red tinted screens” discovered by Korean users.

Meanwhile, Korean banks, credit card and securities companies are introducing their own iris scanning features to keep up with the day when the Galaxy S8 is launched. With the new iris authentication, all financial transactions once made on Woori Bank’s “One Touch Banking” application by the current public certificate or security card will now be done with a blink of an eye. Woori Bank’s mobile bank “WiBee Bank” will apply the latest feature starting April 28. In addition, Samsung Card application users will now be able to not only log in to the application, but also make payments with the iris scanning feature. Samsung Securities’ mobile trading system “mPOP” and Shinhan Cards similar application “Shinhan FAN” also embraced the iris authentication technology.

Dong-Jin Shin shine@donga.com · Yoo-Hyun Kang yhkang@donga.com