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Samsung’s path forward after the Note 7

Samsung’s path forward after the Note 7

Samsung’s brand has suffered serious damage in recent days. The company’s Galaxy Note 7 originally had tens of fires and explosions caused by the device. Samsung issued a recall, and then introduced a “fixed” and “safe” version. That sounded inviting, until even the safe version started acting up. Samsung has embarrassed itself, broken trust, and raised serious questions about the company’s safety certification and quality control processes.

Many consumers are weary of purchasing another Samsung device. The fire and explosion coverage is widespread in the media, as it should be. But all of this negative attention presents Samsung with a difficult and somewhat paradoxical question: how should Samsung rebrand its upcoming smartphones in a way that distances itself from the exploding Note 7, while still preserving the generally positive and innovative brand perception of Samsung itself?

Samsung’s next smartphone is rumored to be named the Galaxy S8. Since the Galaxy Note 7 was the device with the issues, it would be surprising if the company would revive the Note line. Instead, Samsung may name the true Note 7 successor the “Galaxy S8 Pro.” It’s good that it likely won’t be related to the Note 7 in name, but it will take more than a new name or a slightly improved design to make the device sell. To bring Samsung back, Samsung needs to make its next phone amazing.

SAMSUNG NEEDS TO MAKE ITS NEXT PHONE AMAZING

Really amazing. Consumers are used to the dual-edge curved displays, the metal and glass designs, and the repeated incremental upgrades made to the camera, screen, processor, and so forth. Samsung will need to break the mold of these upgrades. 

How? Samsung should jump on the pain points of smartphone consumers – things like poor battery life, a heavy and bloating Android skin, poor speaker quality, and altogether too fragile phone designs. Every smartphone owner with a cracked screen and abysmal battery life could be a Samsung customer. New color options might sell iPhones, but they can’t recover Samsung’s sales or reputation. 

And, Samsung, do not remove the headphone jack on the S8. Let Apple deal with moving consumers away from it, then jump in. 

Imagine a Samsung Galaxy S8 with top-of-the-line specs, a sturdier design, lightweight but feature-rich TouchWiz, a removable battery, stereo speakers, an IR blaster, iris scanner, minimal bezels, Android Nougat with a commitment to timely updates, Google Daydream VR support, and the S-Pen. That’s the type of upgrade consumers want. It’s also the type of upgrade that Samsung needs.

Image credit: Samsung

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