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Samsung Galaxy S8 to miss Mobile World Congress debut in aftermath of Note 7 fires

Owing to precautions set up in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's next rival to the Apple iPhone —the Galaxy S8 —won't be revealed at late February's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, the company's mobile head revealed on Monday.




In speaking to the press, Koh Dong-jin didn't offer a firm timeline for the S8's arrival, according to Reuters. Koh remarked that at Samsung, lessons from the Note 7's failure are now "deeply reflected in our culture and process," and that the company's Electronics division will be "working hard to regain consumer trust."

Samsung has traditionally used Mobile World Congress to debut its Galaxy S phones, which are often the bestselling Android devices in many countries. New testing procedures, however, are expected to delay the S8's arrival, particularly since the company can't afford a repeat of the Note 7 with its most popular line.

In previous years, the debut of a new flagship Samsung phone at the Mobile World Congress, ultimately led to a March shipment of the device. It is not clear if a March launch of the device will happen, or how far a release would be pushed back making any new phone shipment that much closer to the expected debut of a new iPhone in the fall.

On Sunday, Samsung announced the conclusion of its own investigation into the Note 7, finding that two separate battery defects were responsible for the fires, which triggered two recalls and the discontinuation of the product entirely.

The initial problem involved a flaw in the upper-right corner of the battery which triggered short circuits, Samsung said. After the first recall, an ultrasonic welding defect came into play.

In all the debacle will cost Samsung over $5 billion. On Monday the company said it hadn't decided whether it will reuse parts from the recalled devices, or sell any refurbished Note 7 models. The latter option may be unlikely however, given the negative publicity surrounding the product.

The Note 7's flaws may have been triggered by a rush to take more sales away from the iPhone 7, which Samsung executives weren't expecting to have any major improvements. Indeed the phone is mostly a minor upgrade from the iPhone 6s, except for the 7 Plus, which has a dual-lens camera.