Wednesday, 26 April 2017

MWC 2017: Samsung thinks inside the box to win over customers

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom in Barcelona
Monday 27 February 17

Latest tablets bundled with detachable keyboards, S Pen stylus; Galaxy S8 launch date revealed.

Samsung made an effort on Sunday to build bridges with customers who may be wary about flaming batteries, by bundling a detachable keyboard and S Pen stylus with its new tablet line-up. Three new devices were unveiled: the consumer-oriented Galaxy Tab S3, which runs Android, and comes with quad-stereo speakers; and the Galaxy Book, which runs on Windows 10 and comes in two versions…

Samsung made an effort on Sunday to build bridges with customers who may be wary about flaming batteries, by bundling a detachable keyboard and S Pen stylus with its new tablet line-up.

Three new devices were unveiled: the consumer-oriented Galaxy Tab S3, which runs Android, and comes with quad-stereo speakers; and the Galaxy Book, which runs on Windows 10 and comes in two versions: a 10-inch edition with Intel's Core M processor, and a range-topping 12-inch edition with a beefier Intel Core i5 chip and higher-resolution screen. These last two are pitched at what Samsung calls, "on-the-go professionals."

The new devices also all come with Samsung Flow, which means smartphone notifications also appear on the tablet's screen.

Samsung has also upgraded its S Pen stylus, improving its pressure sensitivity, and adding compatibility with Adobe Photoshop. In Photoshop, S Pen strokes on the screen now produce different lines depending on the angle at which it is held and the degree of pressure applied, much like a real pen.

"It's the most advanced digital pen we've ever created," said Mark Notton, European manager of Samsung's mobile device portfolio, at a press conference on the eve of Mobile World Congress.

For added fun, Samsung has also partnered with pencil maker Staedtler, which has produced an S Pen that resembles its distinctive yellow and black pencils.

The Tab S3 comes with a standard S Pen in the box, while the new Books come with S Pens and detachable keyboards.

As well as tablets, which land in U.K. at the end of March, there was also a new virtual reality headset powered by Facebook-owned Oculus, that now comes with a hand controller to make it easier to use.

Samsung's press conference also contained that well-known PR ploy often used by politicians of apologising for a mistake without actually using a word that could be defined as an apology. It was of course related to the company's well-documented battery problem that led to the untimely withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7.

"The past six months have undoubtedly been one of the most challenging in our company's history. We did not maintain the highest standards of quality and reliability that we set for ourselves." said David Lowes, CMO of Samsung Electronics Europe.

He revisited some of the measures adopted by Samsung to ensure its batteries don't set themselves on fire.

"We are determined to learn every lesson. Regaining consumers' trust can only be earned by actions, not words," he said.

Samsung's Note 7 travails also resulted in a delay to the company's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, which had been due to be unveiled at MWC. On Sunday, Samsung revealed that the launch event will take place on 29 March.

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