One of the biggest and more recurring stories of the second half of 2016, if not 2016 as a whole, has certainly been the Galaxy Note 7, its two recalls and subsequent withdrawal from the market. This has been an extremely big issue for Samsung and has placed the company on the back foot in terms of sales due to the lack of a 2016 variant of its popular Galaxy Note Series. As a result, the Galaxy S7 Edge has become the phone that has had to step in and tide sales over for Samsung, until the release of the Galaxy S8 in 2017.
Speaking of 2017, Samsung's North America CEO, Gregory Lee, was recently speaking at the GSMA Mobility Live conference in Atlanta and on the agenda was multiple topics including 5G, IoT and VR. However, and as to be expected, The Galaxy Note 7 was also an element which came up during the conversation. Generally speaking on the recall, Lee noted that Samsung staff had been working 24 hours a day for the past 50 days to ensure that the recall went as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. While further noting that about 80-percent of all sold Galaxy Note 7s had now made their way back to Samsung.
While Lee was unable to provide any further details on what was actually causing the issue with the Galaxy Note 7, Lee did make it clear that they are leaving no stone unturned to understand what happened. According to Lee, "we are looking at every aspect of the product, the process, to make sure that we can say with total confidence we know exactly what the problems are." Which also then led onto Lee noting that Samsung is dedicated to try to ensure that whatever was the cause of the issue, does not resurface again in the upcoming smartphones from Samsung. Specifically, Lee said, "we are going to work very hard to regain consumer, customer, carrier and government trust to rebuild our brand." A sentiment which echoes comments made by Samsung's mobile head, Koh Dong-jin, back in October.
Moving past the Galaxy Note 7 and Lee did note that some of the markets that he expects to be big going forward include 5G, IoT and virtual reality. Specifically, Lee referred to 5G as a "game-changer" and confirmed that Samsung will be "starting trials in 2017." While also noting that he views IoT as one of the industries that will largely benefit from 5G. Likewise, on the topic of VR, a market which Samsung is already a big player in, Lee does anticipate that it will take some time for virtual reality to really hit its stride. With Lee noting that virtual reality is "going to be a long-term play" while the user experience is fully ironed out.