Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was an embarrassment that sent shockwaves through the smartphone industry and cost the company billions of dollars. But that doesn't mean the company's willing to turn its back on the phablet.
In an interview with CNET published on Monday, Samsung mobile chief D.J. Koh said that the company will not discontinue the Galaxy Note brand. Instead, Samsung is working on a new Galaxy Note, to be known as the Galaxy Note 8, that could be available this year.
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"I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8," Koh told CNET, adding that Samsung's investigation into the Note 7's troubles discovered that "there are lots and lots of loyal Note customers." And Samsung doesn't want to turn its back on them.
Koh's comments seemingly confirm an earlier report that Samsung wasn't ready to pull the plug on the Note line just yet.
Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 last summer, calling it one of its most powerful devices ever. And soon after its release, the smartphone earned rave reviews. However, as customers around the world started getting their hands on the Note 7, they said it would overheat and in some cases, catch fire and explode. Samsung recalled the first run and promised the second run would be safe, but that release was brought down by battery problems, too. Samsung discontinued the Note 7 in October.
Samsung's probe into the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco found design and assembly problems with batteries from two suppliers. Samsung says it's instituting new quality assurance procedures to prevent future incidents.
During its investigation, Samsung kept its future plans for the Galaxy Note close to the vest, prompting many analysts and industry pundits to question what might come of the phablet. Prior to the Note 7's disastrous launch, Samsung's Galaxy Note devices were widely heralded as appealing devices, particularly for bringing back the use of a stylus with a big-screen phone.
In an unexpected twist, Samsung might even try to rebuild the Galaxy Note with the Galaxy Note 7. Reuters reports that Samsung is at least mulling the possibility of refurbishing Galaxy Note 7s and selling them to customers this year. Samsung, though, has not confirmed it's actually considering such a move.