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Samsung Galaxy S8(+) hits stores

Samsung's new Galaxy S8 smartphone has gone on sale in a small number of markets, including South Korea. Analysts expect the device to become a major challenge to Apple's iPhone as pre-orders have soared.

Samsung's new Galaxy S8 hit stores in South Korea, the US and Canada on Friday as the world's biggest smartphone maker sought to move on from a disastrous handset recall and corruption scandal that had hammered its once-stellar reputation.

The S8(+) was unveiled in New York last month and is the firm's first major launch since last year's humiliating withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 over exploding batteries.

The new flagship has received good reviews, sending Samsung Electronics' share price up by some 2.5 percent on Friday, adding around $7 billion (6.53 billion euros) to its market capitalization.

The company's profits have been rising again, and there have been 1 million pre-orders for the S8 and the larger S8+ in South Korea alone.

Market success almost certain

"Samsung could break the record 48.5 million unit sales it achieved with its S7 series," IBK Investment Securities analyst Lee Seung-Woo said in a statement.

Watch video 01:54

Samsung seeks to bounce back

The S8 comes with Samsung's upgraded digital assistant Bixby, competing in a crowded field that includes Apple's Siri, Google Asssistant and Amazon Alexa.

It also features an expanded glass screen that covers the entire front of the device and appears to curve seamlessly around its edges.

The new smartphones are due to be rolled out to some 50 more countries next week.

hg/rd (AFP, Techcrunch)

 

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