Samsung plans to unveil new screen for S8 smartphone launch

Samsung Electronics will create an all-screen front for the Galaxy S8 smartphones coming out next year and scrap the physical home button, sources have said.

The displays will provide more viewing while a virtual home button will be buried in the glass in the the lower section. The new phones will only come with wraparound displays using organic light-emitting diode technology, according to the sources.

Samsung needs the Galaxy S8 to be a hit after suffering through the Note 7 debacle that tarnished its brand, led to an embarrassing recall and may cost the company more than $6bn (€5.6bn).

The world’s biggest smartphone vendor is already under pressure from Chinese vendors while Apple is said to be planning to adopt thinner screens which use less power than liquid-crystal screens while also offering deeper colours.

While Samsung is targeting a March release of the S8, that could be delayed until April. Samsung is adopting tougher testing procedures in the wake of the Note 7 debacle that could push back the launch by about a month, one of the sources said.

“Since the phones have a record of burning up, it needs time for these phones to be verified as safe. How safe the phones turn out to be is more important than any hardware innovation,” said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities.

“It will take about a month or two for people to actually start opening their pockets.”

Samsung shares have nonetheless soared 42% this year.

For years, manufacturers have been seeking ways to reduce the size of bezels — which frame the screen and typically provide space for speakers, buttons, and cameras — in order to make smartphones smaller while increasing the size of their displays.

Samsung is not the first to do away with the feature. Apple moved to a pressure-sensitive home button with the iPhone 7 that provides a vibrating sensation when pressed instead of an actual click.

Apple plans to ship at least one iPhone using its new screen next year, featuring a new look that extends glass from the display to the device’s back and edges.


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