Is the Galaxy S8 Samsung’s Life Preserver?
Opinion: Over the last week, I’ve been contemplating on upgrading my iPhone. I would be upgrading to the new Android-based phone the Galaxy S8. I’m a bit hesitant as I have had bad experiences with a Motorola Droid phone several years ago, and after that I switched to an iPhone 5. Then with Samsung’s Note 7 disaster last year, Androids do not seem too appealing. However, I realize that Note 7 debacle had to do with a hardware failure and not the actual programming itself. Myself and many others judge a device on its software rather than its manufactured hardware. So because Samsung’s devices run on Android's software, many people will place the blame on the fact that the phone was an Android. This leads me to wonder if Samsung Galaxy S8 phone will be Samsung’s saving grace.
Although Apple’s iPhone 6 had the bending issue, the iPhone’s software has never been a major issue for the company. Androids have vastly improved over the last five years I thought I might try them once again. Samsung’s phones have improved a great deal and the company has risen through the ranks to be the top contender with Apple.
It is time to upgrade and I refuse to purchase to the iPhone 7. Let me share the reason as to why I’m not even considering upgrading to the iPhone 7 and it is simply because there is no headphone jack. I like wired headphones. I do not want to remember to charge my headphones. I have enough trouble trying to remember to charge my phone. I also do not want to lose the Airpods. Not only that, but the Airpods only have five hours of battery life on a single charge. I fly regularly and I do not want to stop listening to music or watching a movie because I must charge my headphones. I would also have to remember to charge the container that charges my headphones. If I forget to charge them, then I’m out of luck.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 phone looks beautifully crafted, and, most importantly for me, it has a headphone jack. The inclusion of the headphone jack by Samsung is a carefully crafted lure for people who are unhappy with Apple’s decision to remove its headphone jack, but still wish to have a premium phone. However, if you remember last year’s Note 7 debacle then you can understand my hesitation in switching over to the “other side.” Samsung states that it was a problem with the phones batteries that caused the fires. In some of the other Note 7’s it was a problem with the manufacturer. According to CNET, “[t]he one thing we know for sure is that Samsung's phone batteries will undergo much stricter testing procedures going forward, testing for the kind of failures that its pre-Note 7 protocol didn't catch.” The stricter testing regulations of the phone batteries offers some comfort, but not enough to go out and purchase the new S8 right away. I will probably take a month and learn from the experiences that other consumers have had who already purchased the device to make my final decision.
The Note 7 incidents are not the only things to land the company in the hot seat. According to NYMAG and Fortune, the head of Samsung is involved in a great bribery scandal that involves the South Korean president and a cult leader. This news has not made it to the front pages and Samsung is expending a lot of effort in order to keep this information under wraps as negative press would affect the markets. This information wouldn’t discourage me from purchasing the device, but for others I imagine that it would have an effect.
The scandal might prove to be beneficial for the company as the Korean government might have to choose the between the economy and justice as Samsung is a large part of their economy. If more consumers were aware of the scandal Samsung might be forced to clean up their act. It is also possible that many consumers are aware and simply have no interest in the scandal.
According to NYMAG, “the Galaxy S7 actually outsold the aging iPhone 6s for a period… But Samsung doesn’t need a smash hit here, or to crush the competition. It simply needs to show it’s still a serious player in the premium-smartphone game.” Samsung has proven that it is still a serious player in the game by showcasing features that people want, such as the standard headphone jack, which is not just useful for headphones but also for auxiliary cables.
Samsung only needs to display that the company has staying power, and with the release of the S8 I would say that the company has done well in marketing the device. Samsung has crafted a whole new screen with less bezel and they call it an “infinity screen,” which allows users to see more of the screen and less of the phone. Samsung has also done well at keeping the negative press away from the device. By keeping this scandal away from the device allows the Galaxy S8 to flourish on its own and not be burdened by the scandal. This means that people are either purchasing or not purchasing the device for the device itself. Samsung is not letting outside influences hinder the sale of the phone. If the Galaxy S8 is successful then that could lead to success for other Samsung devices, such as tablets, washing machines, and other household appliances.
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