Samsung's (SSNLF) newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8, hits shelves today and investors are hoping sales of the phone will make up for the company's disastrous recall last year of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which was known to overheat or catch fire.
The S8's key features include an edge-to-edge OLED "infinity" screen, a new Bixby voice assistant, an iris scanner and facial recognition.
Already, the South Korea-based electronics company says that pre-orders for the S8 have exceeded those of its predecessor, the S7, which was released last March, according to Samsung's mobile chief D.J. Koh. A report from South Korea claims that the smartphone has exceeded one million pre-orders in South Korea, the highest ever for a smartphone in the country. The phone was originally unveiled on March 29 with pre-orders being accepted starting April 7.
The company sees the Galaxy S8 selling a total of 60 million units this year, vs. about 48 million S7 units sold in 2016, according to the report. Earlier reports had said the phone had pre-sold 550,000 units in the first two days it was available.
Review of the phone came out this week and have mostly been positive. Gartner analyst Werner Goertz has been using the Galaxy S8 for a week and said he was impressed by it. The S8 doesn't have many revolutionary features, but its "Infinity" edge-to-edge display is stunning and feels good to hold, he noted. "I expect the device to do well in terms of making up for lost sales after the Note 7 challenge and more importantly, in regaining consumer trust and brand equity," Goertz said.
Samsung phone sales slowed in the 2017 first quarter, meaning there should be healthy demand for the S8, according to Gartner. "The pent-up market demand, in anticipation of the S8 will make for a successful launch," Goertz said.