Samsung Galaxy S8 will miss its anticipated release date at MWC, the company confirmed
Samsung will not unveil the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona, the South Korean company has confirmed.
The highly-anticipated smartphones will be announced at a later date.
For the last three years, Samsung has used the popular MWC tradeshow to announce the latest iteration of its flagship Galaxy S series.
But that won't be the case this year, with fans forced to wait longer than expected before the chance to upgrade their device.
Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin confirmed the delay during a press conference about the Galaxy Note 7.
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Samsung Galaxy S8 will get a dramatic new design, with no buttons, and an edge-to-edge display
The delays to the Samsung Galaxy S8 could be due to the battery fault which plagued the Galaxy Note 7 and eventually led to its discontinuation last summer.
"The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process," Mr Koh told the media conference.
"Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust."
He did not comment on when the company planned to launch the new handset. Previous whispers from inside Samsung have pointed to a release date as late as April.
An elongated physical Home Button – flanked by two capacitive keys – has long-been a staple of Samsung smartphone and tablet design. But this year, that could be about to change. It is believed the decision to ditch the capacitive buttons will allow Samsung to dramatically shrink the bezels at the bottom of the device.
This would allow the South Korean company to bring its high-resolution display to the very base of the chassis – like it currently does with the sides of its curved S7 Edge screen.
The leaked renders, published on GSMArena, show a Galaxy S8 Plus device with a 6.3inch screen
Until now, it has been unclear whether Samsung would use this new industrial design to shrink the footprint of its devices, making them easier to use in one-hand, or squeeze a larger display into the same footprint as its current-generation devices.
However new three-dimensional renders leaked by GSMArena appear to show two models of Galaxy S phones – one with a 5.7inch display, and another with a palm-stretching 6.3inch screen.
The latter will reportedly be marketed as the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Samsung will drop the Edge variation of its flagship Galaxy S phone this year, since all models of the phone will have the curved edge-to-edge screen.
The Galaxy S8 could also be the first phone to ship with Samsung's clever new virtual assistant, purportedly dubbed Bixby.
The virtual assistant was created by Viv Labs, the team that created Siri before it was acquired by Apple for use in the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Samsung acquired the company back in October 2016.
Bixby will reportedly be able to use the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S8 to scan your surroundings, surfacing useful information about what it is looking at.
According to SamMobile, Samsung will include a Bixby button within its camera app that immediately launches a search function.
SAMSUNG DISPLAY • YOUTUBE
Samsung Display has revealed a slew of new videos, which feature a mysterious new phone
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumours point to the phone looking similar to the one in the video
This will allow the Samsung Galaxy S8 to identify the objects it is pointed at – and will be able to direct you to online retailers where you can buy the item.
The search functionality will reportedly be closely tied with Samsung Pay.
Amazon's first smartphone – the Fire Phone – had a very similar feature, which let customers use the camera to instantly find listings online.
Elsewhere, the Bixby-powered camera app on the Galaxy S8 will also be able to read text, SamMobile has claimed.
Point the camera at text and the clever assistant will be able to scan it and transform it into a digital format.
This has a number of useful applications – not least being able to quickly copy-and-paste from real-world menus, signs, and more.
It could also allow the Bixby assistant to translate restaurant menus and more, like the standalone Google app does on Android and iOS.
Apple SVP Phil Schiller demos Siri, originally built by Viv Labs, on-stage at a media event
Speaking following the acquisition by Samsung, Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus said: "Samsung is setting its sights on becoming a major player in software and services, and specifically AI.
"Samsung Pay has already proven to be one of the most successful mobile payment platforms in the market and SmartThings is another software acquisition signalling their conviction.
"And they have installed a new cadre of senior SW-savvy management stretching all the way to the top with a mission.
"You will soon come to see the utter seriousness of Samsung’s intentions. And like us, they aim to win."
It will have been a full two years since the Samsung flagship underwent a facelift, with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge being more of a subtle refinement of the design debuted with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
And with Apple rumoured to be planning a radical new look for its tenth anniversary iPhone in 2017, it make senses that Samsung wants to unveil something spectacular.
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VENIAMIN GESKIN • TWITTER • CONCEPT IMAGES
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Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
Speaking of the iPhone, Samsung is expected to follow its Cupertino counterpart and incorporate pressure-sensitive display technology into the Galaxy S8.
It is also rumoured to be looking into ditching the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone port – like Apple.
But that's something we think could potentially ruin this higgle-anticipated phone.
Elsewhere, sources speaking to SamMobile claim the Galaxy S8's in-built S Health app will get a major feature bump that allows smartphone owners to get in touch directly with doctors.
Samsung will reportedly announce a number of tie-ins with partners including Amwell and WebMD to let Samsung owners search for medication and symptoms within the S Health app. Users are also expected to be able to schedule appointments with doctors via video chat within the same application.
According to the report by SamMobile, users will be able to pay for doctor's appointments in-app, as well as take photos to illustrate your condition and locate pharmacies near to your location if the doctor recommends medicine.
Although the S Health app is not explicitly linked to the Galaxy S8 launch, Samsung traditionally debuts major software changes alongside new hardware.