Samsung Electronics Ltd. has announced that it will be moving ahead with its popular Note series of mobile devices, despite the apparent damage last year’s Note 7 debacle wreaked on the company’s reputation – and its pocketbook.
As reported by the Telegraph, the South Korean tech giant’s mobile sales have dipped to their lowest level since 2011, after falling for the third quarter in a row.
The company, however, is putting a positive spin on the numbers, emphasizing in its fourth-quarter earnings report, released today, that its mobile division registered gains year-over-year, though it acknowledged an earnings decline in its consumer electronics division.
“For 2016, Samsung achieved solid results despite the Note 7 discontinuation in the second half,” the company wrote in its report. “The mobile business registered gains YOY due to solid sales of flagship products such as Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and improved profitability of mid-to-low end models.”
Perhaps more strikingly, Samsung’s mobile chief, D.J. Koh, told tech news website CNET that the company would be moving ahead with a Galaxy Note 8.
“I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8,” Koh told Cnet, noting that during the company’s recent investigation into why the company’s Note 7 devices had been exploding, “we found through the investigative process… there are lots and lots of loyal Note customers.”
In fact, Samsung says its most loyal base of customers are those who buy Note models – a claim illustrated by the devices’ continued market penetration despite extensive recall efforts.
During 2017, Samsung expects the global smartphone market to slow down, but thinks new services such as artificial intelligence (AI) could make a significant difference.
“For mobile in 2017, the company will continue to innovate both in software and hardware across its entire line-up and prioritize consumer safety,” the company wrote in its report. “The mobile business will seek to strengthen its leadership in the premium market and boost competitiveness of mid-to-low end smartphones by adding innovative features available in high-end models.”