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Samsung is focusing on the S8 after its Note 7 disaster

Samsung still has no idea what caused some of its Galaxy Note 7 phone batteries to explode, but that’s not stopping it from focusing on future phones. Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman and board member at Samsung, who’s also the apparent heir to the company, told the Wall Street Journal that next year’s Galaxy S8 will come with a “slick design and an improved camera.” It’ll also have better artificial intelligence, Lee said. That all sounds about right for a new phone. I’m guessing it’ll have a better processor, too?

Samsung acquired the creators of Siri, Viv Labs, earlier this year, so it would make sense for the company to improve its voice assistant. Lee didn’t confirm to the WSJ whether it would be including Viv’s technology in the S8. Given that both Apple and Google market their assistants as a reason to buy their phones, I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung at least tried to fit AI into its larger pitch. But is a better camera, AI, and design enough to win back trust?

Samsung’s Note 7 recall cost the company more than $5 billion, and it’s unclear whether the large amount of negative press — such as a Stephen Colbert skit — will have a lasting effect on sales.

Samsung not only issued a recall, but also had to send customers fireproof return boxes. That’s not a good look. The FAA banned the devices on flights and continues to announce that they’re not allowed during the boarding process. It’s a federal crime to bring one aboard. Samsung has serious image reworking to do, so I hope the company debuts something really impressive in 2017. Please, please give us a bezel-less design.


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