Over the past few years, most smartphone makers have fallen into a regular yearly release schedule for their flagship phones. Apple does their big iPhone launch in September, and most Android smartphone makers launch during or close to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, usually in late February or early March. That won’t be the case for Samsung this year, with Samsung confirming that the Galaxy S8 will not be announced at this year’s show during their Note 7 press conference on Monday.
During the press briefing on Monday, a Samsung rep told reporters that the phone will not be announced during or close to MWC this year, without specifying when the announcement would come. However, a Forbes report indicates that Samsung will announce the phone on April 14 at an event in South Korea.
As was rumored, Samsung revealed at Monday’s press conference that the Note 7 fires were caused by battery defects. The first batch suffered from faulty battery design from supplier Samsung SDI, while the batteries in the replacement units from supplier ATL had welding defects, with some units lacking insulation tape. Separate problems, but both resulted in battery shorts that caused combustion.
Samsung also announced that they would be implementing an eight-step process for verifying battery safety in future devices. It’s possible this is why the Galaxy S8 is being pushed back from its usual February/March launch.
Interestingly, that Forbes report suggests that delay will have huge ramifications for other smartphone makers this year. When Qualcomm detailed their new premium Snapdragon 835 SoC, one of the big stories was the move to a 10 nm manufacturing process, which helps Qualcomm make their chips more powerful. Well, Samsung is the only company that can manufacture 10 nm chips in sufficient quantities, and the Forbes report cites sources that say Samsung is taking full advantage of that fact. Word is no one’s getting the 835 until the S8 comes to market — the report says the LG G6 will run on the Snapdragon 821 as a result, and suggests this could be why the HTC U Ultra does the same.