The Galaxy S8 was finally available for general purchase last week — but the flagship broke sales records before shipping a single unit.
Pre-orders for the S8 and S8+ were up 30 percent from last year’s number of reservations for the S7 and S7 Edge, according to a statement Samsung provided us via email. While concrete sales numbers weren’t disclosed, the company said the S8 had the most successful pre-sale period for a smartphone in Samsung’s history.
The record number of pre-orders comes as a vote of confidence in Samsung as it continues to face scrutiny after the failure of the Galaxy Note 7 — a legacy that, while not mentioned explicitly, appears to have had a major influence on the company’s messaging about the S8’s successful launch.
Tim Baxter, the company’s American president and COO, struck a cautiously optimistic, even conciliatory tone in the statement.
“At Samsung, we believe it is a privilege to make groundbreaking products that are enjoyed by millions, and have recommitted ourselves to innovate, not only with new products and services, but also in process,” he wrote, likely referencing the focus on the S8 battery’s efficiency and the company’s new eight-point battery safety check, which was instituted in response to the Note 7’s exploding batteries.
The phone has been received with mostly positive reviews overall, with praise coming for the massive button-free display.
“The response is humbling, energizing and points to a great launch week,” Baxter continued. “We aim to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the name of a better, smarter, more exciting experience for our consumers.”
“The response is humbling, energizing and points to a great launch week”
The flagship launch hasn’t been totally without a hitch, though — some of the first S8 owners reported their devices were plagued with red-tinted screens, an issue that Samsung acknowledged and has promised to fix with an upcoming software patch.
Early adopters have also complained that Bixby, the much hyped AI assistant that warrants its own dedicated button on the side of the phones, doesn’t even work at full power. Samsung stated that won’t happen until “spring,” which led to some intrepid S8 users to find other uses for the button, and Samsung in turn to block them from doing so.
Time will tell just how successful the S8 will be as it pushes through the release weekend hiccups — but one thing’s for sure: as long as it can avoid the issues that plagued its explosive cousin, it’ll be a step in the right direction for Samsung.