Samsung reportedly skipping 'unlucky' model number for next flagship, which may launch earlier in 2017 due to the Note 7 recall.
We've already heard how the Galaxy S8 might come in two edge-screen models with 4K displays, and now further details on Samsung's internal designation for the new flagships have come to light. SamMobile, which has a pretty good track record for these things, says the big and small GS8s (Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, perhaps?) are in development under the codename "Dream" and "Dream2."
The site also reports that the model numbers for the two Galaxy S8 models are SM-G950 and SM-G955, which makes sense considering the GS7s were 930 and 935. The move would have Samsung skipping past 940, which could be attributed to the number four's status as an unlucky number in some Asian cultures. (SamMobile notes that Samsung has previously skipped past "fours" in its model numbers.)
"Smartphone demands have polarized: advanced and emerging markets, and premium and budget phones," said Kim Sang-pyo, an analyst at [KB Investment & Securities]. "If Samsung's flagship smartphone launch is delayed to the end of the first quarter of next year, the profitability of the mobile business division could be worsened next year."
"Regardless of the sales resumption, an earlier launch of a new quality flagship model seems to be the most realistic solution to dealing with the current recall crisis," he added.
The Korea Herald notes that this fits with another analyst report from Mirae Asset Securities.
With 70 instances of battery fires reported in the United States alone — and Note 7s now singled out as "dangerous" by most major airlines, which have banned their use in flight — it's increasingly unlikely the Galaxy Note 7 will be salvageable. In Europe in particular, the Note 7 recall has scuppered Samsung's chance of having a "phablet"-class phone to compete with the iPhone 7 Plus, as major retailers like the UK's Carphone Warehouse now quote October shipping dates for new Note 7 purchases. As such, common sense suggests that Samsung might want to move onto its next major flagship sooner rather than later.
Samsung's usual Galaxy S launch venue of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona begins February 27 next year. If the company is keen to bring forward the Galaxy S8's launch, perhaps a standalone event in early February might be on the cards.