People "aren’t excited by new phones anymore."
That’s the first thing Samsung’s product manager said to me before introducing the company’s new flagship Galaxy S8 last month. He’s not wrong: the modern concept of the smartphone has been around for a decade now, and the differences between devices are exceedingly incremental. It doesn’t help that virtually every smartphone looks the same, too.
So for the Galaxy S8, Samsung made an effort to do something different. It combined everything it did in the past few generations of its phones and added some new ideas to produce something different from everything else on the shelf of the average phone store today.
Of course, Samsung had to do this, because for the past six months it’s been dealing with the biggest public crisis any electronics company has faced in modern times. The Note 7, the last major phone it released, had a crucial design flaw that caused its battery to spontaneously catch fire. Samsung had to recall the phone twice and then was finally forced to cancel the Note 7 entirely.
>Samsung faces two challenges with the Galaxy S8
Now Samsung faces two challenges with the Galaxy S8: create a new phone that will get people excited, and at the same time make them forget about all of those other phones catching fire just last year.