Samsung Electronics launches two new tablets, marking its first major announcement since being forced to withdraw the flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Ivor Bennett reports on the company's return to the Mobile World Congress, after a challenging few months.
Mobile World Congress is supposed to be about showing off. But for Samsung, this year was about showing humility. SOUNDBITE (English) DAVID LOWES, CMO, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS EUROPE, SAYING: "The past six months has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging periods in our history. The company was forced to withdraw its flagship Galaxy Note 7 in October after faulty batteries caused some devices to catch fire. Burning both reputation and revenues - 5.3 billion dollars of operating profit wiped out. SOUNDBITE (English) DAVID LOWES, CMO, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS EUROPE, SAYING: "We're determined to learn every possible lesson and we recognise that regaining consumer trust can only be earned by actions not words." But some were left disappointed by Samsung's actions. Having postponed the launch of its next key device, the company launched two new tablets instead. The Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book. SOUNDBITE (English) DAVID LOWES, CMO, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS EUROPE, SAYING: "Most people have tended to see the tablet as a pure entertainment device. But we think we're now at a turning point for tablets." The hardware itself is impressive. But some experts were left disappointed overall. SOUNDBITE (English) THOMAS HUSSON, PRINCIPAL MOBILE ANALYST, FORRESTER, SAYING: "There were not that many breakthrough announcements. They were not very senior executives from Samsung on stage. So yeah a little bit disappointing I'd say." There was something to look forward to though. March 29th was revealed as the launch date for the S8. Samsung's rivals will hope to take advantage of their headstart.